It is unclear how many give serious attention to the political pinings of LeBron James. Even he proclaimed, “They all didn’t wanna listen to me.” And so, LeBron’s latest declaration about detained WNBA star Brittney Griner may best be processed with a healthy dose of scrutiny.
James who has said America is racist now charges that America has not done enough to free Griner from a Russian prison and suggests that Griner should rethink her desire to come home.
James shared his comment on “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” an HBO show in which political analysts extraordinaire Jon Stewart and Snoop Dogg discuss world events in a barbershop.
The conversation took an unexpected turn when Griner’s name came up.
The Daily Wire notes that at that point, “James threw up a brick”:
“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?'”
Griner, a 6-foot-9-inch center for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained by Russian authorities on drug charges on February 17. If convicted, she could face 10 years in prison.
U.S. diplomatic efforts have failed to affect her release.
Last week, Griner pleaded guilty to possessing drug paraphernalia and bringing contraband into Russia. During her hearing, Griner took responsibility for her actions, but noted that she “packed in a hurry” and did not intend to bring the contraband into the country.
Griner was in Russia to participate in an off-season basketball event with a Russian team. She was allegedly detained after airport security found Griner in possession of illegal vape cartridges.
The New York Times suggested the guilty plea could pave the way for a prisoner exchange, noting that Russia may release Griner in exchange for the release of arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Bout, also known as “the Merchant of Death,” is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States, and could be exchanged for Griner, according to The New York Times, according to the Daily Wire.
James is not new to controversy. In 2018 he referred to NFL owners as a bunch of “old white men.” Not satisfied, James added that NFL owners acted like slave masters.
Sports Center tweeted at the time:
“In the NFL, they got a bunch of old white men owning teams, and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f*** I tell y’all to do or we get rid of y’all.'”
Recently, James criticized NFL great Drew Brees for saying that athletes who kneel during the national anthem were “disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
“WOW MAN!!” James tweeted. “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute [sic] nothing to do with the disrespect of [America] and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free.”
When Houston Rockets’ executive Daryl Morey spoke out in support of Hong Kong freedom activists, James, who enjoys the trappings of freedom America offers, defended China despite their extensive list of human rights abuses.
Conservative blogger Bo Winegard quoted James at the time:
“We all talk about this freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech but at times there are ramifications for the negative [sic] that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself. I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand.”
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