LeBron James criticizes US response to Brittney Griner case in ‘The Shop’ preview – NBC Chicago

LeBron James publicly criticizes the United States’ handling of the case of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner in a trailer for an upcoming episode of his TV show, “The Shop: Uninterrupted.”

Griner is on trial in Russia for drug possession. She pleaded guilty last week and will appear in court again on Thursday.

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

James tweeted on Tuesday evening that his comments in the trailer were not intended to criticize American efforts to recover Griner.

“My comments on ‘The Shop’ about Brittney Griner didn’t strike a chord with our beautiful country,” he said. “I was just saying how she probably feels emotionally with so many other emotions, thoughts, etc. inside this cage she’s been in for over 100 days! Long story short #BringHerHome”

It is unknown when the show was filmed, although in the trailer it is mentioned that Griner had been in Russia for over 110 days, which would have been nearly five weeks ago as she was arrested. February 17.

In the weeks following Day 110, in addition to the start of the trial and the guilty plea, Griner’s wife, Cherelle, had a phone conversation with President Joe Biden. Biden also received a July 4 letter from Brittney Griner and returned a letter to her, which was delivered to him 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 their power” to bring Griner back. at home.

“I accept that the administration is doing all they can at this time,” Silver said. “There are very complex geopolitical issues here. are of course concerned about their loved ones who are being held against their will in Russia at this time. … There are some very difficult issues that the Biden administration has to grapple with in terms of what is appropriate.

Washington has not revealed its strategy in the matter, and the United States may have little leverage over Moscow due to strong animosity over its actions in Ukraine. The State Department’s designation of the wrongfully detained Griner puts his case under the oversight of its Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, making him the government’s chief hostage negotiator.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would continue to work for the release of Griner, along with other Americans held by Moscow, including former Marine Paul Whelan.

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

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday that former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson had been in contact with the National Security Council but would not comment on “his trip or what ‘he intends to do’ amid reports that Richardson plans to visit Russia. and work on Griner output.

James’ show airs on Friday.

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AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Las Vegas contributed.

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

NBC Chicago

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