Internet reacts |  Release of Olympic basketball player Brittney Griner sparks questions as US Marine left behind

Internet reacts | Release of Olympic basketball player Brittney Griner sparks questions as US Marine left behind

WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner is finally returning from Russia, but feelings are mixed as former US Marine Paul Whelan is still there after four years.

TEXAS, USA — Social media went into a frenzy after President Joe Biden announced via Twitter that Brittney Griner would finally be coming home after approximately 294 days in Russia.

This came with a backlash as many had questions about the described ‘1 for 1’ trade that was made for an infamous Russian arms dealer dubbed the ‘dealer of death’ for basketball player Brittney Griner . With former US Marine Paul Whelan dismissed a second time as a prisoner in Russia for four years.

The internet had questions and opinions to share on trading and exiting:

Even Dallas Cowboys football player Micah Parsons was in hot water for his Tweet about Griner’s return:

With him later retracting his statements and clarifying that he was just surprised the swap didn’t include Whelan:

Many Twitter users shared the same sentiments as those above, ones that question the White House’s choice to trade.

For those unfamiliar with Whelan’s story, he was arrested in 2018 at a Moscow hotel after being accused of being a spy. He was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in prison, according to FreePaulWhelan. FreePaulWhelan is a website created by his family to tell his story.

Whelan’s family has been working for his return ever since and shared their views on Griner’s freedom on Thursday. His twin brother David released a statement on Thursday via ABC’s Jay O’Brien.

Even with those questions, many users celebrated Griner’s return while others offered their two cents to questions posed on Whelan.

Former President Barack Obama paid tribute via Twitter to President Joe Biden and the administration for their “involved diplomatic work” in freeing Griner.

Another user defended Griner and the most recent comments she received about her release. By offering a counter statement to those who may have recently said or believed that Griner disliked America.

Griner, in 2016, was photographed kneeling with her Indiana Fever teammates during a basketball game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The photo initially went viral on social media at the time.

Since his release, some have cited the photos to justify their reasoning for not liking the White House’s decision.

Other users have brought up the mutual fact that two things can be right at the same time:

For now, all we know is that it has been reported by the Associated Press, that Putin has not ruled out the chances of exchanging for other POWs. As we wait to hear the next chapter of Whelan’s journey, America continues to celebrate the double Olympian we have recovered.

As always, The Internet Reacts shares stories and reactions from the internet. What are your opinions, if any, on the trade described as “1 for 1”? Or even the release of Paul Whelan?

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