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‘If it was Lebron James, he’d be home’: Brittney Griner’s WNBA coach slams urgency in bringing star home

lebron james, brittney griner
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Brittney Griner’s Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard believes that if her star player were named Lebron James, her incarceration in Russia would have ended already.

The situation with the WNBA greats imprisonment in Russia has not changed much since she was originally detained in February on drug charges. While the US government has changed its stance in recent months and designated her detention as wrongful imprisonment, she still remains in Russia.

Related: Brittney Griner trial begins in Russia

With the eight-time All-Star’s trial beginning this week, she made an official plee to President Biden in a letter begging to not be forgotten.

“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,” Griner wrote in an excerpt of the letter released by her reps Monday.

“… I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. 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,” she added. “I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore.”

Brittney Griner’s coach uses Lebron James to make point on star’s months-long detainment

lebron james, brittney griner
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Mercury’s loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday, Griner’s head coach Vanessa Nygaard spoke to the media about the 31-year-old and claimed that if she was one of the biggest stars in the NBA, and a straight man, there would be far more urgency about bringing her home to the US [via CNN].

“If it was Lebron, he’d be home. Right? It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”

Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard on Griner situation

Griner has been imprisoned for over 130 days. Her trial for “large-scale transportation of drugs” began on July 1. If found guilty she could face up to 10 years in jail.

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