LeBron James says Brittney Griner should question returning to United States

NBA star LeBron James questioned if WNBA star Brittney Griner should return to the United States whenever she is released from her incarceration in Russia.

The Los Angeles Lakers star made the comment about the Phoenix Mercury star in a trailer for his show, The Shop, which is scheduled to air on Friday on Uninterrupted's YouTube channel.

"Now, how can she feel like America has her back?" James said. "I would be feeling like, 'Do I even want to go back to America?'"

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James later took to Twitter to clarify his comments

"My comments on 'The Shop' regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country," he tweeted. "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"

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This isn't the first time James has commented on Griner's situation.

In June, he demanded action from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to bring Griner back to the United States, although now he apparently wonders if she should come back to the U.S.

"We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!!" James posted on Twitter. "Our voice as athletes is stronger together."

Griner has been detained since Feb. 17 after vaping cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage while going through an airport outside of Moscow.

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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. Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner returns to a Russian court on Thursday amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release nearly five months after being arrested on drug charges.
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. Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner returns to a Russian court on Thursday amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release nearly five months after being arrested on drug charges.

Griner could land in prison for 10 years on drug smuggling charges. She recently pleaded guilty to the charges.

In the June post, James shared a message "demanding" President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bring Griner home "swiftly and safely" by taking action today.

"As a decorated Olympian and member of an elite global sport community, BG's detention must be resolved out of respect for the sanctity of all sport and for all Americans traveling internationally," the post said. "It is imperative that the U.S. Government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to return Brittney home."

"Join us in demanding that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris bring Brittney home swiftly and safely by taking action today."

More: Why did Brittney Griner plead guilty? What to know and what's next in her Russian trial

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The post included three ways people could help Griner.

The first was to learn about her case at wwww.wearebg.org, the second was to sign a change.org petition to help bring Griner home and the third was to share photos encouraging Biden and Harris to take action.

Interestingly, Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard recently wondered if Griner's situation in Russia would be resolved already if it were James, not Griner that was detained.

"If it was LeBron, he'd be home, right?" Nygaard asked. "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."

More: 'He takes this to heart': Biden has read Brittney Griner's letter, White House says

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: LeBron James says Brittney Griner should question returning to America