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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Micah Parsons bullied by Twitter mob over Joe Biden tweet

Micah Parsons looking down

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons shared an honest reaction to the Brittney Griner news after the WNBA star was released from Russian custody, but it was not long before the Twitter mob bullied him into issuing an apology.

Griner was released on Thursday after the United States and Russia agreed to a one-for-one prisoner swap. In order to secure Griner’s release, President Joe Biden agreed to commute the sentence of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. When the Griner news was shared on Biden’s official Twitter account, Parsons retweeted it and wrote, “We still not voting for you!”

The Twitter mob immediately swarmed. While some people supported and agreed with Parsons, others bashed him for not celebrating Griner’s release and for criticizing Biden. That inspired Parsons to send a follow-up tweet minutes later explaining how he is happy Griner was released but wishes the United States would have also secured the release of retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. The star pass-rusher also felt he had to publicly state that he is not a Donald Trump supporter.

“My last tweet was no shot at Brittney Griner. I’m super happy she’s back home as she should be,” Parsons wrote. “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.”

Whelan has been in custody in Russia for nearly four years on espionage charges. In July, U.S. officials said they made a “substantial offer” to Russia to return Griner and Whelan in a proposed prisoner swap. Whelan did not end up being part of Thursday’s agreement.

Parsons eventually deleted his tweet about not voting for Biden, but he sent another criticizing the U.S. for not securing Whelan’s release.

“Wait nah!! We left a marine?!! Hell nah,” he wrote.

Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous men in the world. He was arrested in March 2008 in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand and extradited to the U.S. Bout was charged with crimes related to aiding terrorist organizations and plotting to kill U.S. citizens and officials. He was convicted in November 2011 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Parsons and many others have questioned why the U.S. could not secure Whelan’s release in addition to Griner’s in a deal that involved someone whose crimes are as serious as those committed by Bout.

Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will never stop working to bring Whelan home. Whelan’s brother, David Whelan, also said in a lengthy statement that the Biden administration “made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen.” Twitter users highlighted that portion of David Whelan’s quote and used it to further shame Parsons, who then issued a full apology.

“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 who have served. For that I apologize,” Parsons wrote. “Also if what I’m told about the attempts to bring Ret Marine Paul Whelan home are true. 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.”

Of course, those who bombarded Parsons with angry replies did not include the portions of David Whelan’s statement where he expressed frustration with the Biden administration once again failing to secure his brother’s release.

“How do you continue to survive, day after day, when you know that your government has failed twice to free you from a foreign prison?” David Whelan wrote. “I can’t imagine he retains any hope that a government will negotiate his freedom at this point.”

Paul Whelan later told CNN in a phone interview that he is “disappointed” in the Biden administration. The retired Marine said he is happy for Griner but “was led to believe that things were moving in the right direction, and that the governments were negotiating and that something would happen fairly soon.”

Parsons basically expressed two opinions — that he was unhappy Whelan was not released and that he does not approve of Biden. That was all it took for “MAGA Parsons” and “Pass Rush Limbaugh” to begin trending on Twitter.

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