Senator Kelly Statement on Release of Phoenix Mercury Player Brittney Griner 

Kelly continued to push for Griner’s release following her wrongful detainment by the Russian government 

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued this statement following the announced release of Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner who was wrongfully detained in Russia since February 2022. 

“This unjust detention is over and Brittney Griner is coming home. I’m so happy for her wife, Cherelle, and their whole family. Thank you to everyone who advocated for Brittney’s release and to the State Department and White House who worked so hard to make this happen,”said Kelly who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

Since Griner’s unjust detainment nine months ago, Kelly stayed in touch with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, was frequently briefed on Griner’s situation by the State Department, and continued to push the Biden administration to advance efforts to secure Griner’s timely release. This week, Kelly again reiterated his calls for Griner’s safe and swift return with President Biden during their visit to Arizona. 

Earlier this year, Kelly introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release Griner. Additionally, the resolution also expressed continued support for United States citizen and former Marine Paul Whelan and all prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation.