Could the WNBA have stopped Brittney Griner’s arrest in Russia? If it had been LeBron James…

The Brittney Griner trial has attracted a lot of eyes and attention not only in the United States and in Russia, but from all around the world as well.

Her arrest at an airport near Moscow in February of this year for possession of cannabis oils made a lot of headlines, as did the decision taken by a Russian court last week to hand her a nine-year prison sentence.

Although she is now expected to return home to the United States as part of a prisoner swap with Russia, many have found themselves asking how she ever ended up in the position that led to her arrest.

If LeBron were in Griner’s position…

Griner‘s Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard sparked some debate with one of the things she had to say about the case back in July, comparing her player’s torment to what LeBron James might have experienced had he been in his position.

“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said.

“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.”

Biden’s part in the Griner case

President Joe Biden has faced criticism throughout the case. He has been accused of not doing, or not being seen to do, enough to secure her safe release from Russia.

Griner herself even pleaded with the president to help her out of the situation she found herself in.

“Please do all you can to bring us home,” Griner begged. “I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you.”

Could the WNBA have prevented Brittney Griner’s arrest?

Going back to what Nygaard said in July, she was probably right. Though LeBron would never have found himself in Griner‘s position because of the enormous salary gap between men and women athletes.

LeBron James earned around 40 million dollars for the latest NBA season, whereas Griner pocketed a base salary of 221,450 dollars in 2021 with the Mercury.

Griner, like many WNBA players, has had to play year-round with little-to-no rest in order to get the most out of what is a relatively short career in the professional game, seeking to secure a solid future for herself and her family.