Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, has spoken out for the first time since the WNBA star returned last week to the US from Russia in a prisoner swap — saying that the couple is now on a “journey to heal” from the 10-month ordeal.

Cherelle shared the emotional message thanking the many supporters who advocated for the Olympic gold medalist’s release in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“Yesterday my heart was made whole thanks to the collective efforts of MANY! I’m humbled by their hearts,” Cherelle wrote.

“To care for another, a stranger to some, a friend to some— is humanity in its purest form,” she continued.

“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!” Cherelle added.

Cherelle Griner's message of thanks
“Yesterday my heart was made whole thanks to the collective efforts of MANY! I’m humbled by their hearts,” Cherelle Griner wrote.
Instagram / @cherelletgriner

She listed a slew of politicians, celebrities, athletes and organizations in her post.

Among them were Democratic US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, the Rev. Al Sharpton, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts and “CBS Mornings” host Gayle King.

She thanked the Biden administration and the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs for their efforts in the prisoner swap in which Brittney was exchanged for international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Brittney Griner during her captivity
Brittney Griner flew back to the US on Friday after almost 10 months in Russian captivity.
AFP via Getty Images

Cherelle also expressed her appreciation to “the 44 civil and human rights orgs, especially the organizations representing Black women (*Win With Black Women) and LGBTQ+ people who helped demonstrate the power of our coalition.”

She concluded her post: “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. All families deserve to be whole!”

Brittney and Cherelle Griner
Brittney and Cherelle Griner are staying at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
US Department of State
Brittney and Cherelle Griner
The WNBA star has reportedly not decided if she will return to the Phoenix Mercury.
Instagram / @cherelletgriner

Brittney and her wife are staying at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where the Olympic gold medalist is undergoing a routine evaluation.

“She’s had a lot of psychological support,” her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told CNN. “The resources are very robust. It’s very supportive and very BG-centered. It’s about her developing agency.”

Griner also punctuated her return to the basketball court for the first time since she was imprisoned with a dunk at the Texas base.

“I think it’s fair to say that her picking up a ball voluntarily and the first thing being a dunk … it was really encouraging,” Colas told CNN. “She was really excited.”

She added Griner appears to be in good physical health, but has not decided whether to return to the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

“Is she going to be ready? We’ll see,” Colas told the network.


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