LeBron James Clarifies Commentary About America And Brittney Griner’s Drug Case

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In the trailer for his HBO series, The Shop: Uninterrupted with LeBron James, the NBA champ shared his thoughts on WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia over illegal drug possession. In the 34-second clip, James said, “Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” referring to the U.S.’s criticism of not doing enough to bring the Phoenix Mercury center home. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’”

After receiving somewhat of backlash for his statement, James took to his Twitter to clear up what he meant in the trailer. “My comments on The Shop regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country,” he tweeted. “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”

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Griner, who has been incarcerated in Russia since February, recently pleaded guilty to drug possession charges which could lead to 10 years in prison if convicted. Her next court date is set for Tuesday (July 26).

Griner’s wife, Cherelle, the WNBA and NBA leagues, her legal team, and more have been exploring all options to bring the 31-year-old home to the States. Her wife has written an appeal to President Biden, which resulted in a phone conversation with the POTUS and Vice President Harris. In addition, Griner wrote the Head of State from Russia and received a heartfelt response from the White House in a letter received by Griner.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silve rreiterated that the NBA and WNBA are “doing everything in our power” to bring Griner home. In a statement he also said in support, “As we have now discussed publicly, it was suggested to us early on that we should not be drawing attention to her because the likely demand would increase in terms of a trade to get her potentially out of the country,” Silver said in a press conference on Tuesday (July 12) in Las Vegas during the NBA Summer League. He added, “But I know even her wife was quoted the other day as saying that she is satisfied with everything the Biden administration is doing right now.”

The U.S. hasn’t disclosed its strategy for bringing Griner home. According to HuffPost, the State Department’s declaration of Griner being “wrongfully detained” actually moves her case under the supervision of its special presidential division for hostage affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted, “@usembru [U.S. Embassy Moscow] officials attended Brittney Griner’s trial today in Moscow. We – and I personally – have no higher priority than bringing her and other wrongfully detained Americans, including Paul Whelan, home. We won’t stop working until they are reunited with their loved ones.”

LeBron James’ episode of The Shop: Uninterrupted premiered on Friday (July 15). Watch the full episode below.

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