LeBron James Says Brittney Griner Shouldn’t Even Want To Come Back To America
NBA superstar LeBron James says if he were detained in Russia like Brittney Griner, he wouldn't even want to come home
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Detained WNBA superstar Brittney Griner ought to rethink whether she even wants to come home to America, said fellow basketball icon LeBron James, who claimed the U.S. hasn’t done enough to free her from Russian captivity.

James made the shocking comment on “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” an HBO show in which James and others, including Jon Stewart and Snoop Dogg, shoot the breeze about news, sports, and culture in a barbershop. When the conversation turned to Griner, James threw up a brick.

“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?'”

Griner, the 6-foot, 9-inch center for the Phoenix Mercury, has been held in Russia on drug charges since February 17 despite U.S. diplomatic efforts to win her release. Last week, she pleaded guilty to bringing hashish oil into the country, although she said she did not intend to do so. She was playing in the off-season for a Russian team when she was allegedly caught with illegal vape cartridges at the airport.

The guilty plea sparked speculation it could pave the way for a prisoner swap. Russia reportedly wants the release of arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is known as “the Merchant of Death” and is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States, in exchange for Griner, according to The New York Times.

James previously stoked outrage on the show in 2018 when he labeled NFL’s owners a bunch of “old white men” and accused them of acting like slave masters.

“In the NFL, they got a bunch of old white men owning teams, and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f*** I tell y’all to do or we get rid of y’all.’”

More recently, he blasted NFL great Drew Brees for saying athletes who kneel during the national anthem were “disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

“WOW MAN!!” he tweeted. “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute [sic] nothing to do with the disrespect of [America] and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free.”

James also defended China despite its abysmal human rights record when Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey spoke out in support of Hong Kong freedom activists.

“We all talk about this freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech but at times there are ramifications for the negative [sic] that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself.” He added, “I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand.”

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