Brittney Griner is using her newfound freedom to make a difference for Paul Whelan and other Americans who are being “wrongfully detained.”
Griner’s holiday request
Griner was released from Russian custody on December 8. On Wednesday, she took to Instagram to share a snap of a handwritten letter with her fans.
Thanks to the efforts of many people, including you, I came home after almost 10 months. You have taken the time to show me you care, and I personally would like to take the time to write to you and say that your efforts are important. Your letters have kept me from losing hope during a time when I was filled with regret and vulnerable in ways I could never have imagined.
Griner thanked the public from the bottom of his heart. She added that thanks to them, she “never lost hope.”
Your letters are also more than uplifting for me. They showed me the power of teamwork. Together, we can do hard things. I am living proof of that.
Griner noted that because of her return, her family is now “wholesome”. And have the privilege of celebrating the holidays together. However, she believes “there are still too many families whose loved ones are unjustly detained.”
Those families stood by you and all who supported the #WeAreBG campaign to bring me home and in turn we support them. I hope you will join me in writing to Paul Whelan and continuing to advocate for other Americans to be rescued and returned to their families.
Griner ended the letter by thanking the public again. And sending everyone “joy and love” this holiday season.
At the bottom of the letter, Griner wrote Whelan’s mailing address. According to People, Whelan is currently receiving mail through the U.S. Citizen Services Unit’s Consular Department.
Griner also captioned the post.
Thank you. Your words are important.
Griner’s intention to support other families
In an interview with ESPN, Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, shared that the 32-year-old will use “her popularity for good.”
There is no timeline for her return at this time. She is reintegrated into a changed world for her now. From a purely security standpoint, she wouldn’t be able to move in the world the way she did. It’s not the fate she asked for, but I think she’ll try to use her fame for good.
Colas explained that Griner will use his platform to advocate for other Americans who are being unfairly detained — especially Paul Whelan. According to this source, Whelan is a former US Marine who has been held in a prison in Russia for four years. He is being held on espionage charges.