Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle is demanding the release of Paul Whelan from Russia

Brittney Griner’s wife called for the release of former US Marine Paul Whelan from Russian captivity in a heartfelt post on social media, thanking people for the support while her wife was incarcerated.

“I appreciate each and every one of you! Let’s continue to use our hands, voices, platforms and resources to bring Paul and all Americans home,” Cherelle Griner wrote on Instagram. “All families deserve to be whole!”

Cherelle also thanked dozens of people and groups in the post, including the Biden administration, the WNBA and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Paul Whelan
Cherelle Griner called for Paul Whelan’s release.

The Post also thanked Congressmen Greg Stanton, Colin Allred and Sheila Jackson Lee.

“Yesterday my heart was restored thanks to the combined efforts of MANY! I feel humbled by their hearts. Caring for others, stranger to some, friend to some—this is humanity at its purest!” Cherelle wrote. “As BG and I begin our journey to heal our mind, body and spirit, I wanted to say a personal thank you to some of the hands; seen and unseen, that helped me see my wife again!

Brittney Griner, a WNBA and Olympic basketball star, returned to the United States on Friday after serving nearly 10 months in Russia following her arrest in February for importing cannabis oil into the country.

In this image, taken from video provided by Russia's Federal Security Service, WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner sits on the plane as she flies to Abu Dhabi to be exchanged for Russian citizen Viktor Bout.
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner sits on a plane as she flies to Abu Dhabi to be traded to Russian citizen Viktor Bout.

She was initially sentenced to nine years in prison but was released in a prisoner swap for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was in US custody.

The exchange reportedly took months to negotiate but ultimately drew the ire of some, who expressed disappointment that the exchange did not include Whelan, who was arrested on espionage charges in December 2018 and is being held in a Russian penal colony is.

Whelan has denied the allegations and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

“Americans deserve to know why Biden traded one of Russia’s most dangerous arms dealers for Brittney Griner while leaving military veteran Paul Whelan behind,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted on Friday. “America should negotiate from a place of strength, not weakness.”

Critics of the prisoner swap include Donald Trump, who said on Truth Social that Griner “openly hates our country.”

“What a stupid and unpatriotic disgrace to the US!” wrote the former President.

Whelan’s brother, David Whelan, immediately fired back at Trump on Twitter.

“Former President Trump seems to have mentioned my brother [Paul Whelan’s] Wrongfully taken into custody in the last 24 hours more than in the two years of his presidency that Paul was held hostage [Russia] (Zero),” wrote David Whelan. “I’m not suggesting he cares any more about it now than he did then (zero).”

“#PaulWhelan asked then-President Trump to ‘tweet your intentions,’ but the administration was silent,” Whelan tweeted Saturday. You judge a person by their actions or, in this case, their inaction.” Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle is demanding the release of Paul Whelan from Russia


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