“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James said. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’”
Then, he felt the need to clarify his comments with a tweet late last night. Now, he is trying to get a hashtag trending to bring Griner “home.”
“#FreeBG🧡”? Is any of this even helping?
LeBron James First Tried to Laugh Off the Negativity
When his initial comments first went public, LeBron James first posted on Instagram to say how much he did not care about what people were saying about him.
“Me laughing when I see negativity around trying to derail me from happiness!” James’ Instagram caption read. But two hours after that, James was on Twitter to issue his apology/explanation.
Why Are We Hearing From LeBron James About This?
Phoenix Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard brought LeBron James into the Brittney Griner discussions earlier this month in an effort to prove a point. She that if this situation hypothetically involved James, he would already be back in the United States.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said, via Sports Illustrated. “It’s a statement about the value of women, the value of a black person and the value of a gay person. All of those things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”
Ultimately, James was going to have to comment on the situation at some point after Nygaard dropped that quote. As one of the biggest names in the NBA, the 37-year-old is typically asked for his opinion on matters around sports and politics. Because his popularity is immeasurable, he usually takes criticism – regardless of what he says.
This time, James faced more backlash than usual. And nothing slowed the social media storm after his initial comments on Tuesday.