NBA superstar LeBron James is the latest public figure to put their support behind WNBA star Britney Griner, who is currently incarcerated in Moscow, Russia. The athlete—who is accused of being in possession of vaporizers containing marijuana oil while in the country—has been detained since her arrival in February 2022. Her holdback has resulted in an outcry for her release amid political tension within the country and with Ukraine.
On Sunday evening (June 5), James posted a letter from his Uninterrupted brand calling for Griner’s “swift” release, writing that he hopes to get the Olympic Gold medalist back to the states quickly and safely.
“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,” James wrote. “It is imperative that the U.S. Government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to return Brittney home.”
The four-time NBA champion also accused Russia of using Griner as a “political pawn” and argued that she has been subjected to “inhumane conditions” and denied basic human rights such as communication with her family.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 6, 2022
In addition to the letter, James shared links to a Change.org petition calling for Griner’s release, which has amassed over 250,000 signatures as of Monday (June 6). With Griner recently being deemed as “wrongfully detained” by the U.S. government, it appears that the efforts to facilitate Griner’s freedom will be increased in short order.
“We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement. “The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner. The U.S. government will continue to provide appropriate consular support to Ms. Griner and her family.”
Recently named a billionaire by Forbes, James has been particularly active on social media as of late. The entrepreneur and philanthropist took time out to give his wife, Savannah James, her flowers in the form of an Instagram post. He voiced his appreciation for his high school sweetheart and the mother of his three children.
“Where would I be today w/o you I think to myself quite often,” he captioned the photo of him and his wife. “The answer usually comes back to “not even close to where you would have wanted to be in life”! This is my appreciation post to you my Queen.”
Read the full post below.