Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has joined the many athletes who have expressed their desire for WNBA star Brittney Griner to return home after being detained in Russia for more than 100 days.
“We have to come together and help do everything we can to bring BG home quickly and safely. Our voice as athletes is stronger if we stand together.” James said in a tweet this Sunday night.
James also shared a message from Uninterrupted, urging President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to take action and help bring Griner home.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist was detained in February at a Moscow airport while playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.
Russian authorities claimed to have found cannabis oil in Griner’s luggage and charged her with smuggling significant amounts of a narcotic substance, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
In May, a Russian court extended the 31-year-old athlete’s preventive detention until at least June.
Last week, the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) marked the 100th day of her detention in Russia by renewing its calls for Griner’s release.
The State Department has classified Griner as wrongfully detained in Russia and her case is now handled by the office of Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) Roger Carstens, a State Department official confirmed to Globe Live Media last month.
The SPEHA office directs and coordinates the administration’s diplomatic efforts to secure the release of Americans wrongfully detained abroad, and the move to his office means more flexibility in efforts to negotiate their release, since they do not necessarily have to wait for Russian legal proceedings to take place.
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