Footage of the two-time Olympic gold medalist was released as the prisoner swap went down, and the one thing many noticed was that Griner no longer had her iconic dreadlocks. Many figured out that they must have been cut off in the weeks leading up to the swap considering she still had the dreads at a court hearing in late October, however, the reasoning was unknown — until now.
Griner’s Attorney Speaks Out
Brittney Griner‘s attorney, Maria Blagovolina, who has been representing the WBNA star in her trial in Russia, said the reason why Griner decided to chop off her iconic dreadlocks was because of the brutal Russian temperatures.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist cut her dreadlocks off two Sundays ago because every time she took a shower, afterward her hair would freeze. Brittney
“It’s very cold in there and every time she washed her hair she got cold and would get a chill,” Blagovolina said. “She should have waited until New Year’s Day.”
This comes as a shock to many WNBA fans who know Griner as she has had long hair for as long as people can remember.
Brittney Griner Is Back In The United States
Brittney Griner arrived back home in the U.S. early Friday morning. The WNBA star landed at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas and will undergo medical attention. Griner is able to see her family on her own terms and whenever she is ready.
Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Tweeted the news, saying, “So happy to have Brittney back on U.S. soil. Welcome home BG!”
Welcome home BG. Paul – stay strong and don’t lose faith, we are working to get you home. https://t.co/QGcf465WSl
— U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Roger D. Carstens (@StateSPEHA) December 9, 2022
The prisoner exchange with the WNBA star and the “Merchant of Death” was “completed successfully at Abu Dhabi Airport” on Thursday, state media said. According to CBS, the one-for-one exchange agreement, which has been in negotiation with Moscow for the last few weeks, was given final approval by President Biden within just the last week.
President Biden Speaks On Prisoner Swap
President Biden spoke out about the one-on-one prisoner swap on Thursday morning shortly after the news broke, saying “Brittney is relieved to finally be heading home.”
“She wrote to me back in July,” Biden said of the two-time Olympic gold medalist. “She didn’t ask for special treatment, she requested the simple quote ‘Please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do everything you can to bring us home’.”
He went on to discuss the one-on-one prisoner swap deal, stating, “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held in intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along.”
“This is a day we worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release. It took painstaking and intense negotiations,” he continued.