LeBron James questions whether America has Brittney Griner’s ‘back’

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has weighed in on Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia, making his comments on the trailer for the latest episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted.” 

Griner, who pleaded guilty to drug charges last Thursday, has been held in Russia since February after Russian authorities say they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. 

U.S. WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 7, 2022.

U.S. WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 7, 2022. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

In the trailer, James appears to be critical of the way the United States has handled Griner’s case, questioning whether he would want to come back to America if he was in her shoes. 

“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James says in the trailer. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?'”

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The full episode is scheduled to run on July 15, so James’ full reaction to Griner’s situation is unclear as of yet.

Last week, Griner’s head coach with the Phoenix Mercury – Vanessa Nygaard – discussed Griner’s detainment, saying that if James was being held overseas, he’d already be home. 

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LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 08, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 08, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said, according to USA Today Sports. “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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Pressure has mounted on the Biden administration to secure Griner’s release over the past several weeks, with Griner writing a letter to President Biden last week asking for the government’s help in getting her home quickly.  

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, James Jones during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, James Jones during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada.   (Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images)

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“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” the letter read in part. “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”

Griner is facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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