Brittney Griner First Public Appearance Since Release From Russian Jail In MLK March: Photo

The WNBA star and her wife Cherelle attended the gathering to pay tribute to the civil rights leader in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Brittney Griner made her first public appearance after returning home to the United States after she was in prison in a Russian penal colony on Monday, January 16. The basketball player, 32, walked in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march along with her wife Cherelle for the event. Besides taking part in the march, Brittney also posed for photos with fans, according to NBC affiliate KPNX.

Brittney sported a black hoodie and sweatpants and could be seen riding on the back of a golf cart alongside her wife, who was similarly dressed in an all-black look. She reportedly told fans that she was “happy to be home” to the Phoenix-based outlet.

Brittney’s appearance at the MLK day march came a little after a month after she returned home to the United States about 10 months after she was first arrested in Russia for possession of marijuana vape cartridges. She was later found guilty and sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony, but her lawyers did try to appeal her case. President Joe Biden announced that the United States had negotiated a deal with the Russian government to bring Brittney home in a prisoner swap. It was revealed that the United States released Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange.

Brittney on her flight back from Russian. (Shutterstock)

After the WNBA star returned back to the United States, she eventually took to her Instagram to pen a heartfelt message to all of her fans who supported her as well as those who worked to get her released. “It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help,” she wrote.

After Brittney returned to the U.S., her wife Cherelle revealed that the two were in tears during their first reunion during an interview with People. “It did not feel real. It was chilling — and warm. I was just holding on tight. I couldn’t let her go,” she told the outlet.