Clayton County

Georgia NAACP reacts to WNBA star Brittney Griner being released from Russia

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — WNBA star Brittney Griner is headed back to the U.S. tonight.

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New video shows the prisoner swap between Griner and a Russian arms dealer during Griner’s release this morning. The 32-year-old was in Russian custody.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the gateway center arena in college park with more on Griner’s release.

For nearly one year there were images of the WNBA superstar in handcuffs and in Russian custody.

Russian officials convicted Griner on drug charges after airport authorities in Russia found vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage.

News of her imprisonment and transfer to a penal colony outraged the WNBA community and the Biden administration.

“This is a day we’ve been worked toward for a long time,” President Joe Biden said.

On Thursday, President Biden announced that Griner was free. Her release part of a negotiated prisoner swap.


Georgia NAACP  President Gerald Griggs says chapters across the country pressured the Biden administration.

“We really believed that it was a civil rights issue that she was being held,” Griggs said.

“I’m just glad that she’s home and back with her family,” TaShanda T. Howard said.

Howard is a former women’s college basketball standout and the sister of former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Dwight Howard.

“This hit home for me. He’s playing in Taiwan right now,” Howard said.

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In a statement the WNBA commissioner said in part: “There has not been a day over the past 10 months where we all haven’t had Brittney Griner on our minds and in our hearts and that has now turned into a collective wave of joy.”

And the commissioner went on to say: “BG has shown extraordinary courage and dignity in the face of enormous adversity.”

Many in the WNBA community told Washington they’re now concerned about Griner’s mental health.