The world woke up Thursday morning to the news that WNBA star Brittney Griner had been released from Russian custody roughly 10 months after being arrested for bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil through a Moscow airport.
Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, a U.S. official confirmed.
Notably, the prisoner swap left another U.S. citizen in Russian custody.
Paul Whelan, a retired U.S. Marine veteran, was not involved in the exchange. Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in 2018 for espionage charges.
Whelan’s absence in the deal did not go unnoticed by Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons.
“Wait nah!! We left a marine?!! Hell nah,” Parsons posted to his Twitter account.
President Biden announced Griner’s release early Thursday morning, posting a picture with Brittney Griner’s wife – Cherelle Griner – and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” the tweet read. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”
The administration has faced mounting pressure to bring Griner home for the past several months, and this will certainly be touted by the administration as a political win. However, getting Griner back to the U.S. apparently is not enough to earn Parsons’ vote in 2024.
“We still not voting for you!” Parsons said in a now-deleted tweet.
As the tweet went viral, Parsons deleted his criticism of Biden, posting an explanation and an apology for tweeting “out of emotion.”
My last tweet was no shot at Brittney Griner. 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.
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) December 8, 2022
“Just spoke to some people that I respect and trust. 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,” Parsons posted to Twitter.
“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 is having another incredible season for the Cowboys after being named the 2021 AP Defensive Player of the Year in his first season.
Parsons has 12 sacks and 13 tackles for loss as the Cowboys are 9-3 on the season, two games back of the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East.
Dallas will square off with the Houston Texans in Week 14.