Ever since Trayvon Martin was fatally shot in 2012, LeBron James has risen to the forefront of social justice initiatives by professional athletes. His voice has become so prominent that he is often compared to socially aware athletes of yesteryear, such as Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LBJ reportedly played a pivotal role in bridging the gap between league officials and NBA players during the NBA's 2020 "Bubble Season," in which the league continued to play out the remainder of the season, all while raising awareness about social injustice to a national television audience. Some people might consider LBJ a national treasure, but in the wake of Brittney Griner's detainment in Russia, his name is being brought up in a different light.
The legal predicament that Griner currently finds herself in didn't generate a lot of press coverage initially, nor did it inspire U.S. politicians to get involved in a timely manner. This has prompted several sports fans to suggest that if LeBron were entrenched in a similar legal matter overseas, the U.S. government would have done anything and everything to secure his freedom. But unlike the social battles that LeBron has fought stateside, Griner's situation is slightly different. That's because Russia is America's political rival; their court of law suggests that all captors are guilty until proven innocent; Joe Biden is currently assisting Ukraine in their efforts to fight Russia with weaponry shipments, and legal experts from Russia have gone on record to say that protesting this matter from abroad only brings negative attention the situation in the eyes of their government officials. Nevertheless, LeBron believes that the U.S. government should be doing more for his WNBA counterpart, and he made that abundantly clear in a recent appearance on HBO's The Shop.
"Now, how can she feel like America has her back?" LBJ said in a recent trailer for an upcoming episode of The Shop. "I would be feeling like, 'Do I even want to go back to America?"
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