Basketball star LeBron James has walked back comments he made regarding imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner, implying that she should not want to return to the United States.
Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February after authorities arrested her for having a vape cartridge infused with CBD in her luggage. She has since pled guilty to possession of an illegal drug and has pleaded with the Biden administration to help with her release. Speaking on HBO’s The Shop this week, LeBron James said he would consider not returning to the United States if he were in Griner’s shoes.
“She’s been there over 110 days. Now, how could she feel like America has her back? I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?’” he said.
After significant backlash, James tweeted Tuesday that his statement was taken out of context.
“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,” James tweeted.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 13, 2022
As Breitbart News reported, the WNBA last week “wrote a letter to the Biden administration pleading for help to get her out from under the Russian legal system,” while Griner’s wife, Cherelle, said the president needs to do more.
“It kills me every time I write to her, and she asks, ‘Have you met with him yet?’ And I have to say no,” she said in a recent appearance on CBS Mornings.
“I’m sure she’s like, ‘I’m going to write him and ask now because my family has tried to no avail, so I’m going to do it myself,’” she continued. “Everything about this is a calculation for me because I have to walk the fine line of harm versus help when it comes to my wife right now.”
Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle says it is “very disheartening” that she still has not heard back from the White House — after Brittney penned a handwritten letter to Pres. Biden from a Russian prison pleading for help. pic.twitter.com/MTyQqCJIBj
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) July 5, 2022