Skip to main content

Details Emerge From The Controversial Brittney Griner Trade

Brittney Griner in the WNBA Finals

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 10: Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury durring pregame warmups at Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Mattina/Getty Images)

After months of speculation, the United States were finally able to free Brittney Griner. They agreed to send Viktor Bout to Russia in order to successfully pull off a prisoner exchange. 

While the sports world is ecstatic that Griner is coming back home, there are plenty of people confused as to why former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan wasn't included in the deal. 

According to ESPN's T.J. Quinn, the United States were only offered a one-for-one prisoner swap. It was either they accept that offer or leave Griner in Russia. 

"Sources saying the US had been pushing to bring Griner and Paul Whelan home together, but Russian officials said it's this deal or nothing," Quinn wrote on Twitter.

Whelan's family released a classy statement regarding this prisoner swap. 

"There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home," the Whelan family's statement said. "The Biden Admin made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn't going."

Whelan has been detained in Russia since 2018. 

President Joe Biden said his administration will not give up on securing Whelan's release from Russia.