Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner’s release from Russian custody dominated Thursday’s news cycle. Almost lost in the shuffle of all the news coverage and political debate is a message from her former coach at Baylor, Kim Mulkey.

Recall that Mulkey came under heavy fire earlier this fall for basically refusing to comment on Griner’s detainment in Russia. When a reporter asked her in late September, “I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you on that,” Mulkey bluntly replied, “and you won’t,” quickly moving on to another topic.

Thursday, Mulkey took a different approach, telling ESPN she was thankful for her former player’s release.

“God is good,” Mulkey said. “Prayers are powerful. Brittney is on her way home where she belongs. Our prayers remain with her and her family as they recover and heal together.”

Griner helped lead Baylor to the 2012 national title under Mulkey and played four seasons for her.

Americans reacted with mixed emotions to news of Griner’s release, which involves a trade that will send a notorious arms dealer back to Russia in exchange while leaving behind imprisoned former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

President Joe Biden quickly defended the decision to bring Griner home and Whelan’s family expressed support for the president’s decision.

Yet it still led to quite a bit of controversy in the sports world.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.