Two-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time WNBA All-star, Brittney Griner is paying it forward to bring home captive Americans overseas after being detained in Russia for 10 months.
The basketball star was arrested by Russian authorities more than one year ago at a Moscow airport on charges of drug trafficking. She was held in custody for over 10 months and was released after the US government agreed with their Russian counterparts on an exchange for high-profile prisoner, Viktok Bout.
At the time of her release, the government was criticized for not getting back U.S marine Paul Whelan, who has been locked up in Russia since late December 2018.
“The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going…President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” Griner says in her first public statement since returning to the United States.
This Thursday, Griner made it clear she hasn’t forgotten about Whelan and several other Americans overseas. Griner even made a surprise cameo at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Women’s Empowerment Luncheon in NYC, where she addressed the crowd.
“I want to continue to fight to bring home every American detained overseas. That means everything to me,” Griner said, alongside her wife Cherelle Griner and Sharpton.
Her remarks come just a few days after it was relieved that Griner is planning to release her memoir to detail her experience in Russia.
She says on a final note, “After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home. Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world.”