Brittney Griner's wife talks "journey to heal" in first post since WNBA star's release from Russia
Brittney Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, is speaking out on social media for the first time since the WNBA star's release from Russia.
Griner arrived in the U.S. early Friday after a one-for-one prisoner swap for notorious international arms dealer Viktor Bout. She was held in Russian prisons for nearly 10 months for possessing cannabis oil. CBS News was first to report the swap, which took place in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.
In an Instagram post Sunday, Cherelle Griner shared a series of photos and thanked everyone involved in helping secure Brittney Griner's freedom, as they begin to heal from the ordeal.
"Yesterday my heart was made whole thanks to the collective efforts of MANY! I'm humbled by their hearts. To care for another, a stranger to some, a friend to some— is humanity in its purest form," she said. "As BG and I start our journey to heal our minds, bodies, and spirits— I wanted to personally say thank you to some of the hands; seen and unseen, that helped make it possible for me to see my wife again!"
She specifically mentioned politicians, celebrities, athletes and human rights organizations who'd highlighted Griner's cause. After the news first broke of the prisoner swap, Cherelle spoke to CBS News' Gayle King about how she learned the WNBA star was on her way home.
"She's still on cloud nine," King said, describing their conversation. "She said, 'Gayle ... I'm smiling so much, my face hurts.'"
Cherelle Griner also thanked the Biden-Harris administration and the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.
"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," her post said, referring to Paul Whelan, another American still being held by Russia. "All families deserve to be whole!"
White House officials had sought the return of both Griner and Whelan, but said Russia insisted on only Griner or nothing. A planning session Monday was expected to discuss the next steps in efforts to secure Whelan's release, an official with the National Security Council confirmed to CBS News.
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