Dallas Cowboy Micah Parsons quickly reversed course, apologizing after slamming President Joe Biden in the wake of the prisoner swap that secured WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release.
Parsons, upon learning that Russia was trading Griner for international arms dealer Viktor “Merchant of Death” Bout — and that Marine veteran Paul Whelan was being left behind in a Russian prison — lashed out at the Biden administration for failing to secure Whelan’s release as well.
“Wait nah!! We left a marine?!! Hell nah,” Parsons tweeted.
But a short time later, apparently upon learning more about the context of the prisoner exchange, Parsons tweeted his apology and said that he should not have allowed his emotions to get the best of him.
then the best outcome was accomplished. I pray Mr. Whelan comes home but am extremely happy for Brittney and her family. I am not too prideful to admit when I’ve made a mistake.
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) December 8, 2022
“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.
“Also if what I’m told about the attempts to bring Ret Marine Paul Whelan home are true, then the best outcome was accomplished,” he added. “I pray Mr. Whelan comes home but am extremely happy for Brittney and her family. I am not too prideful to admit when I’ve made a mistake.”
Whelan also spoke to CNN — from the Russian prison where he is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage — about the exchange. He told the outlet’s Jennifer Hansler that he was “greatly disappointed” that the final deal had not included him.
The Marine veteran, who has always maintained his innocence, told CNN that in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s announcement, he had actually begun to believe there was hope that his release would be part of the arrangement.
Whelan’s brother, David, also released a statement on the exchange, noting that the family had at least been warned ahead of Thursday’s announcement that Paul would not be a part of the deal — and said that while they were certainly happy to see one wrongfully imprisoned American go free, they were still devastated that he was left behind.