Wendell Brown hugs relatives after his arrival at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan, Sept. 25, 2019.
Wendell Brown hugs relatives after his arrival at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan, Sept. 25, 2019.

ROMULUS, MICHIGAN - Former college football player and American citizen Wendell Brown says he is enjoying his "freedom" at home in Michigan after being imprisoned in China for his involvement in a bar fight.

Brown told The Associated Press on Wednesday at his family's Detroit home that people "don't really understand that word to its fullest extent" until they're without it or "in a cage."

Brown, who played for Ball State University in Indiana, was teaching English and American football in southwest China when he was arrested in September 2016 and charged with intentional assault. The Detroit native denied hitting a man and said he was defending himself after being attacked.

Brown was sentenced to four years in prison, but that was reduced to three years by a Chinese court.

 He returned to Detroit on Wednesday.