Former WNBA Star Maya Moore Married Jonathan Irons, The Man She Helped Free From a Wrongful Conviction


You could say that Maya Moore, 31, and Jonathan Irons, 40, found love in a hopeless place. The WNBA star, who left professional basketball two seasons ago to focus on criminal justice reform, announced her marriage to Irons, the wrongfully-convicted man who she helped free from prison earlier this year. He was released in July after serving 20 years for a crime he didn’t commit.

The pair confirmed their wedded bliss in a Wednesday interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. “We wanted to announce today that were are super excited to continue the work that we’ve been doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore revealed. “We got married a couple months ago and we’re excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”

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The couple told GMA that they became friends back when Moore was 18, meeting through her family at the University of Connecticut. “I got to know him and over the last 13 years we have just developed a friendship and [then] entered this huge battle to get him home and over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts,” she recalled. “Now we’re sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together.”

Their relationship remained platonic until a prison visit a few years ago, when Irons said they “acknowledged, both of us, that we had really strong feelings for each other.” He added, “So much so that I wanted to marry her. But at the same time, protect her, because being in a relationship with a man in prison is extremely difficult and painful. I didn’t want her to feel trapped.”

Irons said he proposed to Moore that same day, but told her not to give her answer just yet. “I said, ‘I just want you to wait until I’m home,’ because I didn’t know if I’d be home and she’s such an amazing, beautiful person I could never trap her and not let her fulfill her dreams of being a wife and being a mother one day,” he explained.

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Moore shocked the sports world in 2019 when she left the Minnesota Lynx to help fight for Irons’ release. He was serving a 50-year sentence on a 1997 burglary and assault conviction at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Missouri. Irons was tried as an adult by an all-white jury and sentenced when he was just 16. In March, a judge overturned his conviction, citing multiple issues with the case. He was released in July, a moment Moore was present for.

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Shortly after, Irons proposed to Moore a second time and they were married in front of members of their inner circle. The newlyweds said they kept their big news quiet in an effort to keep the spotlight on their current Get Out the Vote campaign alongside Moore’s Win With Justice.

She did share a photo from their nuptials on Instagram today, writing, “Grateful to announce this new chapter of life! What a miracle ❤️🙏🏽❤️.”

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As for Moore’s plans to return to the basketball court, she’s optimistic about heading back in the near future. “I’m hoping sometime in the spring we’ll be able have a next step moving forward,” Moore told GMA. “But now, I am trying to really just breathe from this long, long battle, and enjoy and rest… there’s a lot of unknowns for a lot of us right now, so I’m still in that camp.”

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Culture – ELLE

Source – www.elle.com

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