Brittany Griner’s coach on Russian detention: ‘If it was LeBron, he would be at home, wouldn’t it?’

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Brittany Griner’s coach Vanessa Nygaard suggested on Monday that WNBA Superstar Dominance This may be one of the reasons why there is no more need to get him out of Russian prison.

Nygaard said before the team’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks if LeBron James was locked up overseas Los Angeles Lakers The superstar would have come home by now.

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WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittany Griner is taken to a courtroom for a hearing in Khimki on Monday, June 27, 2022, outside Moscow, Russia.
(AP photo/Alexander Zemlyanichenko)

“If it was LeBron, he would be at home, right?” He asked. “It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a black man. It’s a statement about the value of a gay man. All of those things. And we know it And so, that’s what hurts a little more.”

Nygaard, who is in his first season as Mercury’s head coach, said Griner’s letter to the White House made him cry.

“It’s great that she was able to get that message out to us. And hopefully some people are paying attention to it,” she said.

Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard looks on during a WNBA game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena on July 2, 2022 in Chicago, IL.

Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard looks on during a WNBA game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena on July 2, 2022 in Chicago, IL.
(Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Griner’s letter reached the White House on Monday. She wanted to make sure that President Joe Biden and the rest of his administration “don’t forget me and the other American detainees” in Russia.

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Griner’s letter was passed white House through its representatives. Although much of the content remained private, their representatives shared some excerpts.

The WNBA superstar wrote, “…as I sit here in a Russian prison, with my thoughts and without the safety of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I fear I will be here forever. I can stay for

“On the 4th of July, our family generally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father, who is a Vietnam War veteran. It hurts to think that I usually do this. How do I celebrate the day because freedom means something different to me?

Griner pleaded Biden to use his presidential powers to ensure his return. He was arrested in February for bringing wipe cartridges containing hemp-oiled oil through a Moscow airport.

WNBA basketball superstar Brittany Griner (C) arrives for a hearing at Khimki Court outside Moscow on July 1, 2022.

WNBA basketball superstar Brittany Griner (C) arrives for a hearing at Khimki Court outside Moscow on July 1, 2022.
(Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

The letter said, “Please do everything possible to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have to do so well with my freedom that you to help restore it.” Read in part. “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my partners! It hurts me so much to know that they are suffering so much right now. Whatever you do at this time to bring me home I can, for that I am grateful.”

The White House National Security Council confirmed that the White House had received Griner’s letter.

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“We believe the Russian Federation is unfairly detaining Brittany Griner,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on Monday. “President Biden is clear about the need to see all US citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained, including Brittany Griner. The US government continues to act aggressively – using every available means – To bring him home.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.