LeBron James publicly criticizes the United States’ handling of the case of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner in a trailer for an upcoming episode of his television show.
LeBron James publicly criticizes the United States’ handling of the case of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner in a trailer for an upcoming episode of his television show, The Shop: Uninterrupted.
Griner is on trial in Russia for drug possession. She pleaded guilty last week and will appear in court again on Thursday.
“Now how can she feel like America has her back?” James said in the trailer. “I would think, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?'”
It’s unclear when the show was filmed, although the trailer does mention that Griner had been in Russia more than 110 days, which would have to be nearly five weeks since she was arrested on February 17.
In the weeks since Day 110, Griner’s wife Cherelle has held a phone call with President Joe Biden alongside the trial’s start and guilty plea. Biden also received a letter from Brittney Griner on July 4 and returned her a letter she received in court last week.
Other imprisoned Americans are also not mentioned in the trailer.
Klutch Sports Group, the agency representing James, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Washington has not disclosed its strategy in this case, and the US may have little leverage over Moscow because of strong hostility over its actions in Ukraine. The State Department’s finding that Griner is wrongly imprisoned puts her case under the oversight of the President’s Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, effectively the government’s chief hostage negotiator.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would remain committed to the release of Griner and other Americans held by Moscow, including former Marine Paul Whelan.
“We will not back down until Brittney, Paul Whelan and all other wrongly imprisoned Americans are reunited with their loved ones,” he tweeted last week.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday that former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has been in contact with the National Security Council but would not comment on “his trip or his intentions” amid reports Richardson was planning to travel to Russia and work on Griner’s publication.
James Show airs on Friday.
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/wnba/lebron-critical-on-his-show-of-us-efforts-to-get-griner-home/281-608d6e2b-9f37-4ca2-bdfb-fcaae9e09022 LeBron critical on his show of US efforts to get Griner home