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LeBron James: I wasn’t knocking United States’ handling of Brittney Griner

Lakers star LeBron James

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 08: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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LeBron James said of Brittney Griner, who’s being detained in Russia, “Now, how can she feel like America has her back? I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’”

That appeared to be misguided.

Chantel Jennings of the Athletic:

Ultimately, Griner’s case — though being understood by many of her fans from an American perspective — is out of the hands of Americans. Said St. Julian-Vardon: “The point is that there is nothing America can do that will free Brittney. … Her fate is in the hands of that Russian judge who is very much probably aware how Putin wants this to turn out.”

But LeBron is now saying people didn’t understand what he meant.


LeBron has a history of extreme rhetoric and doing damage control.