Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan was not included in Thursday's prisoner swap involving WNBA star Brittney Griner. He has been detained in Russia since 2018 on suspicion of spying.
Despite how disappointing this day may seem for the Whelan family, they appear to be handling this situation with class.
In a statement released by the Whelan family, they said the Biden administration made the right move by bringing Griner back home.
"There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home," the Whelan family's statement read. "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."
Countless people are applauding the Whelan family for this statement.
"For folks who haven’t spared a single thought about Paul Whelan, except for at this very moment to try to minimize the release of Brittney Griner, here’s what *his own family* thinks of her release," Nick Wright of FS1 said.
"Unbelievable class and grace from the Whelan family," Jessica Tarlov of Bustle tweeted. "Don’t know many that could be this generous. Hopeful the government can find a way to bring Paul home soon. It’s long overdue!"
"This is an unfathomable situation for the Whelan family," Erica L. Ayala commented. "This statement is full of grace and acknowledgment that two governments are playing political games with U.S. citizens caught in the crossfire."
During a press conference Thursday morning, President Joe Biden provided an update on Whelan.
"Sadly for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s and while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we are not giving up, we will never give up," Biden said.
Hopefully, the United States can find a way to bring Whelan back home.