In a trailer for an upcoming episode of The Shop: Uninterrupted, James suggested that if he were in Griner’s position, he would feel betrayed by his country and question whether he would even want to return.
“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James says in the trailer. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?’”
James’ words caused quite a stir on social media, so the NBA star attempted to clarify his comments, saying they weren’t meant to be “knocking our beautiful country.”
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
“My comments on ‘The Shop’ regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country.” James 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,” the Tweet concluded.
James has been outspoken about the United States’s response to Griner’s imprisonment for several weeks. In June, the NBA superstar shared a message “demanding” President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bring Griner home “swiftly and safely.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 6, 2022
Griner recently pled guilty in a Russian court to drug charges after bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil – a marijuana concentrate – into the country. She has been in Russian custody since February.
James’ criticism about the United States’ response to Griner’s detainment comes shortly after Griner’s Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard suggested that if James was the one arrested in Russia, he would be home already.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? It’s a statement about the value of women,” Nygaard said. “It’s a statement about the value of a Black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those. We know it.”