Brittney Griner is headed home, but Cowboys star Micah Parsons still won’t vote for Joe Biden


WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian penal colony following a prisoner exchange has sparked a wave of gratitude for the Biden Administration, but Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons isn’t biting.

After the President’s Twitter account announced that Griner was ‘on her way home,’ the All-Pro linebacker responded in a since-deleted tweet.

‘We still not voting for you!’ Parsons wrote.

WNBA star Brittney Griner's release from a Russian penal colony following a prisoner exchange has sparked a wave of gratitude for the Biden Administration, but Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons isn't biting. After the President's Twitter account announced that Griner was 'on her way home,' the All-Pro linebacker responded in a since-deleted tweet

n this file photo taken on July 15, 2022 US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner smiles inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at the Khimki Court in the town of Khimki outside Moscow. - Moscow confirmed on December 8, 2022 it had exchanged US basketball star Brittney Griner, who had been jailed in Russia, for notorious arms trafficker Victor Bout who was serving a 25-year sentence in the United States

WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian penal colony following a prisoner exchange has sparked a wave of gratitude for the Biden Administration, but Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons (left) isn’t biting. After the President’s Twitter account announced that Griner (right) was ‘on her way home,’ the All-Pro linebacker responded in a since-deleted tweet

He also reacted negatively to news that the Biden White House failed to secure the release of Paul Whelan, the retired US marine entering his fourth year in Russian custody on espionage charges.

‘Wait nah!!’ Parsons added. ‘We left a marine?!! Hell nah.’

Griner, the WNBA star imprisoned on marijuana-related drug charges in Russia, is currently en route to San Antonio from the UAE, where the US conducted the prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the ‘Merchant of Death.’ 

She began playing in Russia in 2014, and was returning to the country in February when she was stopped at the Moscow airport with what Russian authorities claimed to be vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. Ultimately Griner was convicted in August and sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony. A subsequent appeal was denied in October. 

Parsons went on to clarify that he’s happy to see Griner’s safe return, stressing that he does not support Biden or former President Donald Trump.

Parsons still won't be voting for Joe Biden in 2026, although he is happy that Griner is safe

 Parsons still won’t be voting for Joe Biden in 2026, although he is happy that Griner is safe

Parsons also reacted negatively to news that the Biden White House failed to secure the release of Paul Whelan, the retired US marine entering his fourth year in Russian custody on espionage charges

Parsons also reacted negatively to news that the Biden White House failed to secure the release of Paul Whelan, the retired US marine entering his fourth year in Russian custody on espionage charges

‘My last tweet was no shot at Brittney Griner,’ Parsons wrote. ‘I’m super happy she’s back home as she should be. I just have family who have served and it’s crazy to me the President wouldn’t bring him home too. I’m the furthest thing from a trump supporter but I’m not a fan of Biden either.’

But Parsons wasn’t done there. Rather, he then admitted that he should have held off on his previous tweets.

‘Just spoke to some people that I respect and trust, Parsons continued. ‘I should have been more educated on the topic and not tweeted out of emotion for my family and other who have served. For that I apologize.

‘Also if what I’m told about the attempts to bring Ret Marine Paul Whelan home are true then the best outcome was accomplished. I pray Mr. Whelan comes home but am extremely happy for Brittney and her family. I am not too prideful to admit when I’ve made a mistake.’

Parsons went on to clarify that he's happy to see Griner's safe return, stressing that he does not support Biden or former President Donald Trump

Parsons went on to clarify that he’s happy to see Griner’s safe return, stressing that he does not support Biden or former President Donald Trump

Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, speaks after President Joe Biden announced Brittney Griner's release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Thursday

Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, speaks after President Joe Biden announced Brittney Griner’s release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Thursday

But Parsons wasn't done there. Rather, he then admitted that he should have held off on his previous tweets

But Parsons wasn’t done there. Rather, he then admitted that he should have held off on his previous tweets

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Griner’s release also prompted criticism of the WNBA, which has long been accused of underpaying its stars, who often play overseas to supplement income.

‘Now if the WNBA would pay their stars fairly, maybe they wouldn’t have to work the offseason in a place like Russia,’ tweeted one fan.

‘Pay inequality in sports should be addressed,’ added another.

Griner had been playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, earning a reported $1.5 million per season, which is six times her salary with the Phoenix Mercury.

UMMC Ekaterinburg, a team located about 250 miles north of Kazakhstan, is backed by Andrei Kozitsyn, a mineral tycoon listed among Vladimir Putin’s richest associates.

Griner is not the only American player who was playing in Russia prior to the war in Ukraine. Her American teammates at UMMC Ekaterinburg included Allie Quigley, who returned to the US in January as tensions worsened between the White House and Kremlin.

Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart shared her joy on Twitter following Griner's release

Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart shared her joy on Twitter following Griner’s release

Many WNBA and NBA players endeavored to keep Griner's name in the news through the 'We Are BG' campaign

Many WNBA and NBA players endeavored to keep Griner’s name in the news through the ‘We Are BG’ campaign

Of course, the overwhelming reaction on Thursday was positive. Fans and teammates shared their joy and relief over the news, particularly coming after Griner had arrived at the IK-2 penal colony in Mordovia, a region known for its brutal prison system.

‘Over 270 days filled with uncertainty and impatience, but hype it was worked out,’ Mercury teammate Brianna Turner wrote.

‘BG is FREE!!!’ tweeted Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart. ‘294 days and she is coming home!!’  

Many WNBA and NBA players endeavored to keep Griner’s name in the news through the ‘We Are BG’ campaign.

On Thursday, CNN’s Van Jones said ‘give credit to black women,’ adding, ‘this was a galvanized grassroots movement led by black women.’

Griner's release also prompted criticism of the WNBA, which has long been accused of underpaying its stars, who often play overseas to supplement income

Griner’s release also prompted criticism of the WNBA, which has long been accused of underpaying its stars, who often play overseas to supplement income

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Brooklyn Nets point guard also celebrated the news on Twitter, crediting Griner's toughness

Brooklyn Nets point guard also celebrated the news on Twitter, crediting Griner’s toughness

And Irving wasn't the biggest name to express their joy over Thursday's news. 'Brittney Griner is coming home,' tweeted Hillary Clinton. 'Just incredibly good news. Thank you to President Biden and everyone in the administration who made this happen, as well as the advocates who pushed for it'

And Irving wasn’t the biggest name to express their joy over Thursday’s news. ‘Brittney Griner is coming home,’ tweeted Hillary Clinton. ‘Just incredibly good news. Thank you to President Biden and everyone in the administration who made this happen, as well as the advocates who pushed for it’

Griner's Phoenix Mercury teammate Brianna Turner responded to Thursdays news on Twitter

Griner’s Phoenix Mercury teammate Brianna Turner responded to Thursdays news on Twitter

Brooklyn Nets point guard also celebrated the news on Twitter, crediting Griner’s toughness. 

‘Welcome Home BG!’ Irving wrote. ‘Thank you for exemplifying what a true Warrior spirit looks like. You’re forever loved by so many unconditionally.’

And Irving wasn’t the biggest name to express their joy over Thursday’s news. 

‘Brittney Griner is coming home,’ tweeted Hillary Clinton. ‘Just incredibly good news. Thank you to President Biden and everyone in the administration who made this happen, as well as the advocates who pushed for it.’

Tennis legend Billie Jean King also weighed in: ‘Brittney Griner is free! After 294 days in Russian captivity, @POTUS negotiated a ‘one-for-one’ prisoner swap. Thank you to President Biden, and to all those who worked so hard to secure her freedom.’

Chris Mosier holds a sign which refers to Brittney Griner, during the first half in Game 1 of a WNBA first-round playoff series between the New York Liberty and the Chicago Sky in August

Chris Mosier holds a sign which refers to Brittney Griner, during the first half in Game 1 of a WNBA first-round playoff series between the New York Liberty and the Chicago Sky in August

Former NBA center Enes Kanter responded on Twitter, saying that he was ‘so happy that #BrittneyGriner is coming back home.’ 

But Kanter was cautious about praising the Biden administration, saying that it could prompt other enemy countries to kidnap Americans in hopes of making prisoner swaps or financial deals.   

Kanter has some familiarity with international politics. In his native Turkey, Kanter has been considered an enemy of the state since 2017, when he criticized president Recep Tayyip Erdo¿an as the 'Hitler of our century'

Kanter has some familiarity with international politics. In his native Turkey, Kanter has been considered an enemy of the state since 2017, when he criticized president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the ‘Hitler of our century’

‘By trading prisoners like this, it incentivizes regimes like #Russia, #Iran and #China to continue to take hostages and arbitrarily detain people based on their nationalities,’ Kanter tweeted. ‘That makes Americans less safe!

‘We have to be careful not to normalize state sponsored hostages and arbitrary detentions; this isn’t okay and it’s troubling how it’s becoming normalized in international relations,’ he continued. 

‘We need other tools in our toolkit beyond doing swaps like this going forward.’

And Kanter has some familiarity with international political.  

In his native Turkey, Kanter has been considered an enemy of the state since 2017, when he criticized president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the ‘Hitler of our century.’ In response, the country revoked his passport, imprisoned his father on terrorism charges for two years, and, through Interpol, attempted to arrange for the younger Kanter’s arrest. 

More recently, the former first-round draft pick made headlines by attacking Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for his business ties to Nike and, by extension, China — a country accused of targeting its minority Uighur population and forcing citizens into slave labor camps.

Former NBA center Enes Kanter responded on Twitter, saying that he was 'so happy that #BrittneyGriner is coming back home.' But Kanter was cautious about praising the Biden administration, saying that it could prompt other enemy countries to kidnap Americans in hopes of making prisoner swaps or financial deals

Former NBA center Enes Kanter responded on Twitter, saying that he was ‘so happy that #BrittneyGriner is coming back home.’ But Kanter was cautious about praising the Biden administration, saying that it could prompt other enemy countries to kidnap Americans in hopes of making prisoner swaps or financial deals

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert released a statement Thursday following Griner’s release. 

‘There has not been a day over the past ten 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 relief knowing that she will soon be reunited with her family, the WNBA player community, and her friends,’ Engelbert said. 

‘BG has shown extraordinary courage and dignity in the face of enormous adversity. The WNBA is grateful beyond measure to the Biden Administration, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, and all those who played a role in bringing BG home today. Our hope is that Paul Whelan and every wrongfully detained American will be returned home safely and as soon as possible.’ 

Likewise, NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement:  ‘Brittney has had to endure an unimaginable situation and we’re thrilled that she is on her way home to her family and friends. We thank the members of the NBA and WNBA community who never wavered in their efforts to raise awareness of Brittney’s unjust circumstances.’