‘How Can She Feel Like America Has Her Back’ LeBron James Wonders If

LeBron James said in footage released Tuesday he would consider if he would even want to return to the United States if he was in the Russian-detained WNBA star Brittney Griner’s position, suggesting the United States—which remains in a diplomatic war with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine—should be doing more to free Griner. Russian authorities arrested Griner in February after allegedly discovering vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. The American has remained in Russian detention with little outside contact since. Griner pleaded guilty last Thursday to drug charges in a Russian court and faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years. The State Department considers Griner to be “wrongfully detained” and her release may require a prisoner swap like the U. S. and Russia conducted in April to free American Trevor Reed. A source told Forbes in May the Biden Administration offered to trade Griner for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in Illinois. Griner wrote in a handwritten letter delivered to Biden last week she’s “terrified I might be here forever.”James and Griner are arguably the biggest names in their respective leagues, and many have pointed out the different treatment James may have received if he was the one detained in Russia. Griner’s head coach for the Phoenix Mercury, Vanessa Nygaard, told reporters last week: “If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? It’s a statement about the value of women.”LeBron James Calls On Biden To Bring Brittney Griner Home From Russia (Forbes)Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty To Russian Drug Charges (Forbes)

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