Twitter users called Randi Weingarten, the head of the teachers’ union, a hypocrite for her reaction to news Brittney Griner had been released from Russian prison. Griner specifically stated that Griner was gay.
During the celebrations, the American Federation of Teachers’ head mentioned that Griner was a “gay and black woman,” which left many wondering why such a description was necessary after the release of the WNBA player.
In exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, Griner was released from Russian prison by the Biden administration. Some critics criticized the proportionality of this deal, claiming Bout was a notorious criminal who sought to kill American citizens when his arrest occurred and that the U.S. could have hoped for more Americans released in exchange.
They criticized Biden specifically for not securing Paul Whelan’s release from a Russian prison. Whelan was a former Marine veteran who had been sentenced for 16 years to Russian prison on espionage charges. The Biden administration originally wanted to include him in the swap.
Weingarten reacted to President Biden’s tweet praising Griner’s release Thursday morning. Over Twitter, she exclaimed: “What a relief!” Extraordinary news: A basketball star is now released, as well as a gay, and black woman.
She said, “And yes, of course, we want other prisoner like Paul Whelan to be released.”
Weingarten was slammed by the responses of users puzzled by her message.
Jason Howerton, a conservative commentator, responded by tweeting, “What an odd way to think and speak.”
Angela Morabito, spokesperson for Defense of Freedom Institute tweeted “WHAT. Paul Whelan might consider becoming a lesbian next year. This is ridiculous.
Tony Bruno, Conservative radio host, took the opportunity to dance on Weingarten about the problems in the education system. He tweeted: “Of course” Hey Randi! Have you seen the devastation you have caused in Portland schools? Your fascist union is abandoning its teachers? #Hack.”
Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at American Federation for Children, asked: “Is this a parody account [?]”?”
Douglas Murray, New York Post columnist and author, took aim at Weingarten’s position as head of American Federation of Teachers. He tweeted, “If only the American Federation of Teachers head showed as much interest as I do in the education of America’s children.”
Fox News contributor Joe Concha commented, “The mindset and leadership of the largest teacher’s union in the country in less than 280 characters
Conservative pundit Dana Loesch called Weingarten “completely clown.”
Matt Whitlock, a Republican operative, described the comment by the union boss as “an incredibly telling Tweet about how some people on the left weigh certain prisoners’ value against others.”
Jason Rantz, a Seattle radio host, provided his interpretation of the tweet. He wrote, “What an amazingly odd tweet. They wanted her to be released only because she is gay, black, and a basketball player. But what about the white guy who is a Marine veteran? “I mean, sure, we would like him released as well, I suppose. Maybe. I dunno. Whatever.’”