Brittney Griner’s Coach: ‘If it Was LeBron, He Would Be Home, Right?’

Brittney Griner #42 and Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury reacts to a foul call in t
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The coach of Women’s National Basketball Association star Brittney Griner blasted Joe Biden’s White House for doing next to nothing to help get the player out of a Russian jail where she has sat for nearly five months.

Griner was arrested at a Russian airport and accused of “smuggling drugs” for reportedly having a CBD-infused vape cartridge in her luggage. She has been idling in a Russian prison ever since.

Now, Griner’s coach, Vanessa Nygaard, suggested that Biden has done nothing to help the player because she is a woman.

Brittney Griner

On Monday, Nygaard said that if the Russians had arrested someone like LeBron James, Biden would have made sure the Russians acted to vacate the charges and free the player.

“If it was LeBron, he would be home, right?” she said according to Fox News. “It is a statement about the value of women. It is a statement about the value of a Black person. It is a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those things. And we know it. And so, that’s what hurts a little more.”

Nygaard added that Griner was finally able to get a letter out of Russia and it has been sent to the Biden White House, but so far to no avail.

The coach reported that Griner wrote in part, “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever.”

“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran,” Griner added. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” the letter read in part. “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home,” the player concluded.

In a press release, White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, “We believe the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner. President Biden has been clear about the need to see all U.S. nationals who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad released, including Brittney Griner. The U.S. government continues to work aggressively – using every available means – to bring her home.”

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