LeBron James took to Twitter Tuesday night to clarify his comments about Brittney Griner in an upcoming episode of The Shop amid backlash on social media.
“My comments on ‘The Shop’ regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country,” the Los Angeles Lakers star 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”
Earlier Tuesday, a trailer for his show, which is scheduled to air on Friday on Uninterrupted’s YouTube channel, included James questioning if Griner, the WNBA and Mercury star detained in Russia, should return to the United States when she is released.
“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James said. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?'”
His comments were slammed by many on social media, leading to James’ reply on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time James has commented on Griner’s situation.
“We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!!” James posted on Twitter. “Our voice as athletes is stronger together.”
Griner has been detained since Feb. 17 after vaping cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage while going through an airport outside of Moscow.
Griner could land in prison for 10 years on drug smuggling charges. She recently pleaded guilty to the charges.
In the June post, James shared a message “demanding” President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bring Griner home “swiftly and safely” by taking action today.
“As a decorated Olympian and member of an elite global sport community, BG’s detention must be resolved out of respect for the sanctity of all sport and for all Americans traveling internationally,” the post said. “It is imperative that the U.S. Government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to return Brittney home.”
“Join us in demanding that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bring Brittney home swiftly and safely by taking action today.”
The post included three ways people could help Griner.
The first was to learn about her case at wwww.wearebg.org, the second was to sign a change.org petition to help bring Griner home and the third was to share photos encouraging Biden and Harris to take action.
Interestingly, Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard recently wondered if Griner’s situation in Russia would be resolved already if it were James, not Griner that was detained.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard asked. “It’s a statement about the value of women. 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 things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”
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