LeBron James seems to be wondering if fellow basketball star Brittney Griner will want to live in the US again if she is released from the Russian prison she currently calls home.
In a promotional clip from his YouTube talk show “The Shop,” James appears to believe that Griner, who was arrested in Russia in mid-February, would not want to return to the nation that has been unable to bring her home amid rocky relations. with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“How can you feel that the United States has your back?” James said. “I would feel like, ‘Do I want to go back to America?’ ”
The 31-year-old WNBA star was arrested for alleged possession of hashish oil at an airport near Moscow. She reportedly pleaded guilty last week and faces sentencing on Thursday.
His imprisonment has coincided with Russia’s war with Ukraine, which has been supported by the United States and its allies. Putin ordered the entry of Russian troops into his neighboring country on February 24.
Griner’s wife of three years, Cherelle Griner, has spoken with the White House about bringing her spouse home. WNBA representatives, as well as community leaders and activists, have urged US officials to bring the native of Houston, Texas, home. She plays for the Phoenix Mercury.
Like James, Griner is 6-foot-9 and has won two Olympic gold medals.
He posted a promo for his upcoming episode of “The Shop” on Twitter with a caption that read, “This is a global issue.”
James has almost 52 million followers on Twitter.
Griner’s WNBA coach Vanessa Nygaard speculated last week that her star might be getting less support because she’s a gay woman.
“If I was LeBron, I’d be home, right?” she asked USA Today.
According to a letter Griner reportedly sent to President Biden, returning to the US is a priority.
“I am sitting here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any achievements,” she wrote. “I’m terrified that I could be here forever.”