Dallas Cowboys defensive star Micah Parsons might’ve just landed himself in hot water after some controversial tweets he posted this morning.
These tweets are centered on the amazing news that WNBA Star Brittney Griner has been released from her Russian prison via a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. While the Griner-Bout swap was great news to many after her nine months in captivity, Parsons’ initial reaction to the news didn’t share in the celebration.
Wait nah!! We left a marine?!! Hell nah https://t.co/3AeQx8K9OZ
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) December 8, 2022
The Cowboys’ superstar pass rusher seemed to be flabbergasted that Marines veteran Paul Whelan was left out of this prisoner swap, leaving Whelan stuck in Russian prison after four years.
Why Is Retired US Marine Paul Whelan Locked In A Russian Prison?
Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence on charges of spying that the U.S. calls bogus. Whelan himself showed disappointment in Biden’s decision to not include him in the swap deal during a phone call he made to CNN from how prison on Thursday:
“I am greatly disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four-year anniversary of my arrest is coming up. I was arrested for a crime that never occurred. I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”
Whelan isn’t the only one. Micah Parsons also sent out a disgruntled tweet upon finding out Griner was released:
“Wait nah!! We left a marine?!! Hell nah”
The leader of “America’s Team” thought that showing some real nationalism and support for a martyr of his country would stand right in the eyes of the public. He wasn’t wrong. He did however create another Twitter battle that separated people along racial, gender and political lines.
Many people showed support for his tweet, stating that they also agree with his take. Some went as far as to say that they would rather the U.S. government bring home the man who served their country, versus a basketball player who allegedly “hates America.”
We left a Marine But Britney Griner who hates america is bouta come home 💀
— David (@djrousseau31) December 8, 2022
While Whelan’s case is more intricate and considered more severe than Griner’s, he was originally supposed to be involved in a reported 2-1 prisoner swap with the hoops star.
Back in August, the Biden administration had a reported proposal on the table to exchange Bout for Griner and former marine Whelan, who were both considered high-profile Americans currently detained as political pawns. For whatever reason, that deal fell through and Griner is the only one to be granted her release, which undoubtedly infuriated Whelan supporters.
Regardless of the complex nature of Whelan’s case and the support for Parsons’ call for the prisoner’s release, there were a contingent of folks who felt like Parsons was minimizing and demeaning Griner in his vocal outrage for Whelan’s continued incarceration in Russia.
Brother, I think you are missing the big picture here. We should have a high sense of urgency to recover someone who served the country. Yes they both broke the law, espionage and drug smuggling. (That’s what she was doing by bringing THC pens on a plane, also a felony here)
— Tre (@PrimeIsPro) December 8, 2022
Some saw it as a racial and gender slight.
Please stop perpetuating this idea that a (white, male) USMC veteran is somehow "worth more" than a (black, female) basketball player. They are both Americans, and they both matter. Whelan family statement on the Griner release:https://t.co/7sPO3IHyIp
— 🏳️🌈☽✩☾🏳️🌈 (@aKestra) December 8, 2022
Micah Parsons Apologizes For Brittney Griner Tweet
Once Parson realized the intricacies of Whelan’s case, and how significant it is to Russia versus the reality of Griner’s situation, he took to Twitter to take his comments back and apologize.
“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 others who have served. For that I apologize.” Parsons said on twitter.
Parsons also still sent hope out for Whelan and a potential release for him as well.
“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.”
He also said in between unfinished tweets that the best outcome possible was “accomplished.”
Parsons never blasted Griner or said he wasn’t supportive of her release, but after his initial Tweet caught fire, Micah also said that he was happy for Griner, while trying to defend his feelings for Whelan not being released as well.
“My last tweet was no shot at Brittney Griner. I’m super happy she’s back home as she should be. I just have family who have served and it’s crazy to me the President wouldn’t bring him home too. I’m the furthest thing from a Trump supporter but I’m not a fan of Biden either.”
My last tweet was no shot at Brittney Griner. I’m super happy she’s back home as she should be. I just have family who have served and it’s crazy to me the President wouldn’t bring him home too. I’m the furthest thing from a trump supporter but I’m not a fan of Biden either.
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) December 8, 2022
Micah Parson Tweet About Brittney Griner Brings Social Media Outrage
This social media outrage is just another example of when athletes take to these platforms to voice their personal opinions. While Parsons is just utilizing the First Amendment, everyone is going to have something to say about him because he’s a public figure.
We have to pick and choose our battles in life and with the Dallas Cowboys in a position to win a Super Bowl for the first time in three decades, Parsons doesn’t need to create any locker room drama for a team that couldn’t avoid the media if it wanted to.