Brittney Griner Makes Surprise Public Appearance at MLK Day March

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Brittney Griner recently made her first public appearance following her release from Russian custody.

A little more than one month after the WNBA star returned to the U.S. after nearly 10 months in Russian detention, Brittney and her wife Cherelle Griner made a surprise appearance at a march in Phoenix, Arizona, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During the Jan. 16 event, as noted alongside footage shared from the Today show, Brittney said that she was simply “happy to be home.”

It’s a sentiment the Phoenix Mercury star echoed after her Dec. 8 release as part of a prisoner swap that saw the U.S. return Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout—who was 11 years into a 25-year prison sentence—back to Russia.

Her appearance at the march came almost one year after her February 2022 arrest at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly possessing vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage.

Brittney was found guilty on drug charges by a Russian court in August and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Four months after the verdict, she was transferred to a penal colony in Russia’s Mordovia region.



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