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LeBron James says he “wasn’t knocking our beautiful country” when speaking on Brittney Griner’s detainment

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Pro baller LeBron James had some clarifying to do after recently commenting on WNBA star Brittney Griner‘s detainment in Russia. 

In the trailer for the latest episode of his HBO show, The Shop, James said that if he were in Griner’s unfortunate position, he’s not sure he’d be willing to return to a country that has yet to come to his rescue. 

“Over 110 days, now how could she feel like America has her back?” James said in the short clip. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?'”

His comments were met with backlash from some social media users who viewed his thoughts as disrespectful. 

James took to Twitter Wednesday to issue clarification.

“My comments on ‘The Shop’ regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country,” he wrote. “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!”

He added, “Long story short #BringHerHome.”

As previously reported, Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard spoke to the media about Griner’s continued detainment, comparing her situation to that of James, a male sports player. 

“If it was LeBron [James], he’d be home, right?” Nygaard asked, according to USA Today. “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 … We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”

Griner has been held in Russia since Feb. 17, when she was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport for her possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country. She pleaded guilty to drug charges in court, saying that the vape cartridges were in her luggage unintentionally.

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