Celebrities React to Brittney Griner's Release from Russia: 'See You … – PEOPLE

Natasha Dye is a writer-reporter for PEOPLE Digital covering sports.
Notable figures from the entertainment and sports world are reacting to Brittney Griner’s release from Russia.
Several of Griner's WNBA teammates and colleagues were the first to celebrate their friend's safe return, including league commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
Engelbert held a press conference Thursday morning to address the media following Griner's release. The WNBA commissioner said she was "really emotional" upon hearing the news. "I'm not usually an emotional person, but I got very choked up," said Engelbert, who had known "for a couple of days that something might be happening" with Griner's release.
Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum was among the first players to react to Griner’s release on social media.
Los Angeles Sparks player and close friend of Griner, Nneka Ogwumike celebrated her friend's return by posing in front of a photo of the WNBA star. "See you soon," she wrote in the caption, while sporting a sweatshirt with Griner's face on it.
Brianna Stewart, Griner's Olympic teammate and a forward for the Seattle Storm, joyfully shared the news this morning, writing: "BG is FREE!!! 294 days and she is coming home!!!" Before Thursday, Stewart had been starting each day by tweeting out the number of days that Griner has been "wrongfully detained in Russia" and tagging President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to help.
Actor Kerry Washington rejoiced in the news as well. “Feeling all the feels about #BrittneyGriner today. Sending her and her loved ones so much love,” wrote Washington, 45.
Former president Barack Obama said he is “grateful” for Griner’s “long-overdue release” and commended Biden and his administration for “the difficult diplomatic work involved to make” Griner’s release possible.
"We're looking forward to having Brittney back home," Obama added.
In her tweet, Harris called the negotiations between Russia and the U.S. "painstaking" and applauded President Biden's "commitment to bring home every U.S. citizen wrongfully detained anywhere in the world."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league is “thrilled” that the WNBA star is “on her way home to her family and friends,” in a statement on Thursday.
"Brittney has had to endure an unimaginable situation," said Silver. "We thank the members of the NBA and WNBA community who never waivered in their efforts to raise awareness of Brittney's unjust circumstances."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Congress and the country are overjoyed to learn that, thanks to the committed & focused leadership of @POTUS, Brittney Griner is finally free.”
Pelosi added, "Today, our hearts are with her dear wife, Cherelle, and the Griner family as their beloved Brittney is safely on her way back to America."
Singer Stevie Nicks shared a public letter to Griner with her Twitter followers upon hearing the news of the WNBA star's return.
Nicks, 74, said, "Welcome home Brittney Griner! I found out at 5:30 this morning that you were 'in the air' on your way home. I am crying, seriously, and just so happy that you have been released. You are free."
"After 294 days in Russian captivity, @POTUS negotiated a 'one-for-one- prisoner swap," tennis legend and social activist Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter.
The sports legend expressed her gratitude to President Biden "and to all those who worked so hard to secure her freedom."
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The WNBA star’s wife shared a heartfelt message on Thursday morning during a press conference with Biden.
"So over the last nine months, you all have been so privy to one of the darkest moments of my life, and so today I am just standing here overwhelmed with emotions, but the most important emotion I have right now is just sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration," she said.
"Today my family is whole."


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