You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Phoenix Mercury coach says Brittney Griner's detainment would be resolved 'if it was LeBron'

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 7/6/2022 Casey L. Moore, USA TODAY

As Brittney Griner readies for trial this week in Russia, her head coach with the Phoenix Mercury can't help but wonder if the situation would be resolved already if it were LeBron James who was detained.

Speaking after her team's loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday, Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard spoke to the media about the message that's being sent by not bringing Griner home.

"If it was LeBron, he'd be home, right?" Nygaard asked. "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 head coach Vanessa Nygaard wears a "We Are BG" pin in support of Mercury center Brittney Griner. © Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard wears a "We Are BG" pin in support of Mercury center Brittney Griner.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

FOR SUBSCRIBERS: Brittney Griner's 'sham' trial in Russia is underway. Here's what to know about her plight.

Griner wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, pleading for him to not "forget about me and the other American Detainees."

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden had read the letter and Griner's return is a priority for the administration.

"We believe she is wrongfully detained," Jean-Pierre said. "We believe she needs to come home."

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested on Feb. 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team. The trial will resume Thursday and, if Griner is found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in jail.  

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Phoenix Mercury coach says Brittney Griner's detainment would be resolved 'if it was LeBron'

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from USA Today Sports

USA TODAY SPORTS
USA TODAY SPORTS
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon