NBA superstar LeBron James sparked controversy after he made inflammatory comments over the WNBA’s Brittney Griner’s prosecution and detention in Russia.
Griner was arrested in February at an airport in Moscow because she was traveling with four vape cartridges containing hash oil, which is derived from cannabis and illegal in Russia.
The WNBA player plead guilty and has been detained for the past five months, still waiting for an official sentence, which could be up to 10 years in a Russian prison.
In a preview video for HBO’s “The Shop: Interrupted” released Tuesday, LeBron James questioned why Griner would even want to come back to the U.S.
James’ comments suggested the U.S. has abandoned Griner.
“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?”
James walked back on his comments the night after the video went viral.
“My comments on “The Shop” regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country. 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,” the NBA player explained on Twitter.
Fellow NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom quickly came to criticize LeBron over his anti-American comments despite James’ follow-up tweet.
Kanter Freedom accused James of taking his freedom for granted and told James he was “free to leave” America if he desired.
“You call it a step back, we call this a walk back. You are free to leave buddy or you can even volunteer for an exchange for her. Some people literally have NO idea what is it like to live in a dictatorship. Keep taking your freedom for granted,” Kanter Freedom posted to Twitter.
You call it a step back, we call this a walk back.
You are free to leave buddy or you can even volunteer for an exchange for her.
Some people literally have NO idea what is it like to live in a dictatorship.
Other social media users have offered no sympathy for Griner because she has publicly bashed the United States multiple times.
“Brittney Griner actively refused to be present during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem before games, and even demanded the Anthem and flag ceremony be avoided in all games. I wonder what it feels like now with her begging the Red, White and Blue to come to her rescue?”, Conservative influencer Errol Webber commented on Twitter.
Brittney Griner actively refused to be present during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem before games, and even demanded the Anthem and flag ceremony be avoided in all games.
Griner is set to have a fourth hearing in her trail on Friday. Her legal team is optimistic that her guilty plea could lower her sentence.
“Considering the nature of her case, the insignificant amount of the substance and BG’s personality and history of positive contributions to global and Russian sport, the defense hopes that the plea will be considered by the court as a mitigating factor and there will be no severe sentence,” her lawyers said.