LeBron James shared his thoughts on Brittney Griner‘s imprisonment in Russia in the trailer for an upcoming episode of “The Shop”, and the NBA superstar has some serious feelings.
The 35-second-long trailer for the episode gives a brief look at James’ conversation with co-host Maverick Carter, the show’s creator, Paul Rivera, and the episode’s guests, actor Daniel Kaluuya and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford. The episode touches on Griner’s detainment, Black art and more from a New York-based barber shop.
In the clip, James wonders how Griner feels after being in prison for over 110 days, noting that he could understand her reconsidering returning to the United States in light of the country’s efforts to bring Griner back home. “Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” he asks his guests. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?’”
James has been a vocal supporter of Griner since her arrest. In tweets following the release of “The Shop” trailer, the 37-year-old took to social media to clarify his comments in apparent response to criticism on his feelings toward the US government.
James stressed that his words weren’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,” he explained. “Long story short #BringHerHome.”
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
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 13, 2022
Griner has been detained in Russia since February after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The eight-time All-Star pleaded guilty Thursday to drug possession charges that could see a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. A Russian judge ordered Griner, the Phoenix Mercury center who played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, to remain in custody.
“I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me, but I had no intention on breaking any Russian law,” she said in court. “I was in a rush packing and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bags.”
The U.S. has said Griner is being wrongfully detained, but in a July 4 letter to President Joe Biden, the 31-year-old admitted she was “terrified” she might remain imprisoned in Russia “forever.”
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year,” the basketball pro shared in her letter.
“I realize you are dealing with so much,” Griner added, “but please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, said, “We’re gonna do everything we can to bring her home as soon as possible.”
“We take very seriously and we’ve been very clear, Brittney Griner, and there are sadly other Americans who are being unlawfully detained around the world, and it is on our highest priority list to bring those folks home,” Harris said. “And so you are right, the president and I and Jake Sullivan and others have been in touch with Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner’s wife, to do what we can to lend support. I can’t talk to you about the details, what’s happening behind the scenes, but I can tell you that it is one of our highest priorities to bring these Americans home.”
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, revealed that President Biden sent Griner a letter. “I was able to read the letter, and it brought me so much joy, as well as BG,” Cherelle said. “I believe every word that she said to him he understood. And he sees her as a person, and he has not forgotten her, which was her biggest cry in her letter.”
Cherelle added she was grateful to the Biden administration for “exhausting all efforts” to bring the basketball player home. Cherelle said the Biden administration is the first her wife ever voted for.
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