‘Hell Nah’: Dallas Cowboy Has Strong Reaction To Brittney Griner Swap, Walks It Back

"We left a marine?!!"
Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys walks onto the field against the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium on October 2, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons reacted strongly online over the news of the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was freed in a one-to-one prisoner swap in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the “Merchant of Death.”

Parsons seemed to take particular issue with the Biden administration failing to secure the release of Paul Whelan, a retired U.S. Marine jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges that the U.S. government said are baseless.

“Wait nah!!” the athlete posted. “We left a marine?!! Hell nah.”

Later on Thursday, Parsons reversed course, apologizing and saying that he should not have allowed his emotions to get the best of him.

“Just spoke to some people that I respect and trust. I should have been more educated on the topic and not tweeted out of emotion for my family and other (sic) who have served. For that I apologize,” Parsons began, adding that he had also learned more about the Biden administration’s efforts to bring Whelan home.

Griner was arrested in February at a Moscow airport after being caught with marijuana vaping materials and sentenced to nine years in prison in August.

UPDATE: ‘I Should Have Been More Educated’: Dallas Cowboy Walks Back Biden Slam Over Griner Case

“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” President Joe Biden tweeted early Thursday. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home, after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under 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’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”

Whelan was personally informed about Griner’s release Thursday by a senior Biden administration official, according to Fox News reporter Nick Kalman.

David Whelan, brother of the imprisoned Michigan man, said in a statement that he “can’t fathom” how his brother would feel upon hearing the news of Griner’s release.

“Despite the possibility that there might be an exchange without Paul, our family is still devastated,” David said, The Daily Wire reported. “I can’t even fathom how Paul will feel when he learns. Paul has worked so hard to survive nearly 4 years of this injustice. His hopes had soared with the knowledge that the US government was taking concrete steps for once towards his release. He’d been worrying about where he’d live when he got back to the U.S.”


A statement from the Whelan family said the Biden administration made the “right decision” in securing Griner’s release.

“There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed & for them to go home,” the statement said, Kalman reported Thursday morning. “The Biden Admin made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, & to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to.”

The Biden administration said Whelan’s case is being treated “differently” by Russia “for totally illegitimate reasons,” Kalman noted.

“While we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release we are not giving up,” the administration added. “We will never give up.”

Greg Wilson contributed to this report. 

Related: WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Prison In Swap For Arms Dealer

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Hell Nah’: Dallas Cowboy Has Strong Reaction To Brittney Griner Swap, Walks It Back