Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Prison

Kierra Griner

Executive Director Kierra Johnson Responds to Release of Brittney Griner from Russian Prison

(December 8, 2022) National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, responds to the release of Brittney Griner.

From day one, our hearts have been with Brittney Griner, her wife Cherelle, her family, and countless fans. So many raised their voices to call for her return, a movement to #freeBG that included the WNBA, the LGBTQ community around the world and millions of fans and others. Number 42 has been hanging on my wall as a daily reminder of the violence and discrimination Black people, LGBTQ folks, and women regularly endure in this country and around the world. After being held for months in a Russian prison on drug charges, we are overjoyed and relieved she has been released today in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout. We thank President Biden and all those who relentlessly negotiated and advocated for her release and return to her family. Now her jersey will be a celebration and reminder of the resilience of our people and the power of our community.

We advocate for the swift return of every American being held against their will as political pawns of governments that have wrongfully detained them, especially Paul Whelan. No one should have to endure what these families have, and we must continue fighting for their freedom.

Kierra Johnson — Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Cathy Renna, Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, 917-757-6123,

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we have made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. Those barriers must go.