The comments NBA All-star LeBron James made about Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia were clarified by himself after saying he wasn’t “knocking our beautiful country.”
In the trailer for the latest episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” the Los Angeles Lakers superstar had said that he wondered if Griner, a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury, would question if the United States has her back since the government hasn’t gotten her out of confinement.
“Now, how can she feel like America has her back? I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’” said James in the trailer.
Griner was arrested at an airport near Moscow, in February, for allegedly having hashish oil in a vape cartridge in her luggage. Last Thursday she pleaded guilty. She played in Russia in the off-season to make money, per report.
LeBron tweeted: “My comments on ‘The Shop’ regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country. I was simply saying how she’s probably feeling emotionally along with so many other emotions, thoughts, etc inside that cage she’s been in for over 100+ days! Long story short #BringHerHome.”
This week, Cherelle, Griner’s wife, spoke on the phone with President Biden, who called to “reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world,” the White House said.
Getting Griner out of Russia remains a “top priority” for the administration, the U.S. State Department has said.
Just before Russia invaded Ukraine, Griner was arrested, which complicated her situation since the U.S. has levied serious sanctions on Russia over the war.
Griner is technically a criminal now that she pleaded guilty, however the WNBA all-stars still honored her. The WNBA All-Stars showed their support for Brittney Griner on July 10th as they all sported the Phoenix Mercury center’s jersey number during the 2nd half of the game, despite her pleading guilty to a crime as she’s detained in Russia.
The team of A’ja Wilson would defeat the team of Breanna Stewart for All-Star supremacy 132-112. At the end of the game, the players made it clear that their focus was on Griner.
“BG’s one of us. She’s our sister,” said Wilson, who is a player of the Las Vegas Aces. “And at the end of the day, we’re going to do whatever we can to amplify the platform that we have to make sure that everyone is doing what they need to do to make sure that she gets home safely.”
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird stated: “We just wanted to make sure at some point that we were able to, on national television, obviously in front of a (big) crowd, put Brittney’s name in the forefront. That was our way of honoring her.”
Griner has been detained in Russia since February. She was arrested for supposedly carrying vaping cartridges containing cannabis-derived oils into a Moscow airport.
On July 7th Griner pleaded guilty to the criminal drug charge in an effort to get a lenient sentence. “Obviously we are thinking of Brittney Griner at this time,” the Commissioner of WNBA, Cathy Engelbert said in Chicago. “She remains a huge priority for us, continues to have our full support, fully focused on getting her home safely and as soon as possible of course.”
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