It’s been a long time coming but Brittney Griner is finally where she is supposed to be — back on the basketball court. It’s been 585 days since the star played a home game, and Sunday provided one heck of a moment.
In front of what appeared to be a sell-out crowd, the Phoenix Mercury star was greeted by fans with thunderous applause and a standing ovation as she was introduced to the crowd with P. Diddy’s “I’m Coming Home” playing in the background.
As many know, Griner was held in a Russian prison before being released several months ago. One can not imagine what she must have felt coming out of that tunnel for the first time this season.
The Phoenix Mercury crowd erupts as Brittney Griner is introduced in the starting lineup 🔊
It's her first home game in 585 days. What a moment 👏pic.twitter.com/JBBfCKU4wO
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 21, 2023
Many thought that Griner would have to fulfill her whole nine-year sentence handed down by the Russians but the Biden Administration negotiated a deal that would allow her to come home.
While the home crowd seemed to be thrilled to see Griner back home in a Mercury uniform, there still seems to be some bitterness across social media regarding Griner’s release and being back in the United States while other American prisoners are still being held captive.
And then there are those who are glad to see Griner able to regain her life.
Brittney Griner’s return to the court is an inspiration to our nation – and is a testament to her strength and courage. pic.twitter.com/aht2VkyApg
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 21, 2023
— Bubba Elofskey (R.I.P. chuck👨🏾💻) (@BElofskey) May 21, 2023
@vp Wow, what an amazing story. I'm so inspired by her strength and courage.
— Lucy Blake (@SmutRocks) May 21, 2023