LeBron critical on his show of US efforts to get Griner home

Jul 12, 2022, 1:04 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2022, 12:27 pm
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a heari...

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 7, 2022. Griner pleaded guilty Thursday to drug possession charges on the second day of her trial in a Russian court in a case that could see her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

LeBron James is publicly criticizing the United States’ handling of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner’s case 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 again in court on Thursday.

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

James tweeted Tuesday night that his comments in the trailer weren’t intended to be critical of the U.S. efforts to get Griner back.

“My comments on “The Shop” regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country,” he said. “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! Long story short #BringHerHome”

It’s unclear when the show was filmed, although in the trailer it is mentioned that Griner had been in Russia for more than 110 days, which would have been nearly five weeks ago as she was detained on Feb. 17.

During the weeks since day 110, in addition to the trial beginning and the guilty plea, Griner’s wife Cherelle has had a phone conversation with President Joe Biden. Biden also received a letter from Brittney Griner on July 4 and sent a letter back to her, which she was given in court last week.

There is also no mention of other detained Americans in the trailer.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, speaking later Tuesday after his league’s board of governors meeting in Las Vegas, reiterated that the NBA and WNBA are “doing everything in our power” to bring Griner home.

“I’m accepting that the administration is doing everything they can right now,” Silver said. “There are some seriously complex geopolitical issues here. And I’m sure as invariably as they are more focused on Brittney, there are other families who are of course concerned about their loved ones who are being held against their will in Russia right now. … There are very difficult issues that the Biden administration has to face in terms of what’s appropriate.”

Washington hasn’t disclosed its strategy in the case and the U.S. may have little leverage with Moscow because of strong animosity over its actions in Ukraine. The State Department’s designation of Griner being wrongfully detained moves her case under the supervision of its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, effectively the government’s chief hostage negotiator.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Washington will continue to work for the release of Griner, as well as other Americans held by Moscow, including former Marine Paul Whelan.

“We will not relent until Brittney, Paul Whelan, and all other wrongfully detained Americans are reunited with their loved ones,” he tweeted last week,

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had been in contact with the National Security Council, but wouldn’t comment on “his travel or what he intends to do” amid reports that Richardson plans to travel to Russia and work on Griner’s release.

James’ show will air on Friday.

___

AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Las Vegas contributed.

___

To see more AP stories on Griner: https://apnews.com/hub/brittney-griner

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Anastasiia Aleksandrova, 12, right, sits with her grandmother, Olena, at their home in Sloviansk, D...
Associated Press

Boredom, loneliness plague Ukrainian youth near front line

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Anastasiia Aleksandrova doesn’t even look up from her phone when the thunder of nearby artillery booms through the modest home the 12-year-old shares with her grandparents on the outskirts of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine. With no one her age left in her neighborhood and classes only online since Russia’s invasion, video […]
24 hours ago
A person wearing a protective mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 ...
Associated Press

Asian shares mixed after China cuts key rate, Japan GDP up

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday after China’s central bank cut a key interest rate and Japan reported its economy picked up momentum in the last quarter. Tokyo and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok fell. U.S. futures edged lower early Monday, while oil prices declined. The People’s Bank […]
24 hours ago
A person wearing a protective mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 ...
Associated Press

Asian shares mixed after China cuts key rate, Japan GDP up

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday after China’s central bank cut a key interest rate and Japan reported its economy expanded at a faster pace in the last quarter. Tokyo and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok fell. U.S. futures edged higher Monday while oil prices declined. The People’s […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Farmer John Hawk looks over his land as his seed onion fields are watered in Holtville, Cali...
Associated Press

Deadline looms for drought-stricken states to cut water use

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Banks along parts of the Colorado River where water once streamed are now just caked mud and rock as climate change makes the Western U.S. hotter and drier. More than two decades of drought have done little to deter the region from diverting more water than flows through it, depleting […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Farmer John Hawk looks over his land as his seed onion fields are watered in Holtville, Cali...
Associated Press

Deadline looms for drought-stricken states to cut water use

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Banks along parts of the Colorado River where water once streamed are now just caked mud and rock as climate change makes the Western U.S. hotter and drier. More than two decades of drought have done little to deter the region from diverting more water than flows through it, depleting […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Employees of NY State Solar, a residential and commercial photovoltaic systems company, inst...
Associated Press

AP-NORC poll: Many in US doubt their own impact on climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally — and about how their personal choices affect the climate — than they were three years ago, a new poll shows, even as a wide majority still believe climate change is happening. The June Associated Press-NORC Center for Public […]
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
LeBron critical on his show of US efforts to get Griner home