Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is calling on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to step up efforts to negotiate the release of jailed WNBA all-star Brittney Griner.
Griner, an Olympic gold medalist, was detained in Russia in February after officials at a Moscow airport allegedly found vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis in her possession. The professional basketball player had been traveling overseas in her off-season to make additional money.
James posted a letter on Twitter Sunday, urging his followers to press the Biden administration to do more to bring Griner home.
“We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!!” he captioned the post. “Our voice as athletes is stronger together.”
We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!! ?? Our voice as athletes is stronger together. @uninterrupted ? #WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/2GWV3Ff81p
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 6, 2022
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The attached letter noted that the U.S. State Department classified the case as a “wrongful detention,” yet Griner has spent over 100 days facing “inhumane conditions” in a Russian prison.
NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony is also rallying behind Griner. He posted a video on Instagram last week, saying she “needs to come home.”
The caption on the post read: “Today is the 105th day that our friend, sister, teammate, Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained in Russia. Day 105! It is time to bring her home. Let’s bring attention to this matter by sharing BG’s story and signing the petition: WeAreBG.org #WeareBG.”
In late March, the Associated Press reported an official from the U.S. embassy in Moscow visited Griner to do a welfare check, and she was said “to be in good condition.”
Last month the WNBA star’s wife, Cherelle Griner, appeared on Good Morning America and said the support that Brittney has gotten has brought her “comfort” during her detention.
“Things like that matter, it has her hopeful,” Cherelle said. “It lets her know she’s not forgotten.”