Barstool Sports founder bashes ‘fools’ like LeBron James who blame US for Brittney Griner’s situation

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy took a shot at Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James following WNBA star Brittney Griner’s sentencing in Russia.

Griner was given a nine-year sentence on Thursday in Russia for drug smuggling and possession charges.

Portnoy took a shot at James for blaming the United States for Griner’s situation and not appreciating how lucky people are to live in the country.

It’s an interesting move by Portnoy, as there is seemingly no real reason to take a shot at James because of Griner’s troubling situation. Griner’s sentence is extremely harsh from Russia, and it will now be up to the United States government to try to bring her home.

Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star and won gold medals with the United States national team in 2016 and 2021.

There have been several groups in the United States advocating for Griner, and the WNBA has led the charge in part by featuring Griner’s initials and jersey number (No. 42) on its courts this season.

It will be interesting to see how James and other NBA players continue to advocate for Griner’s freedom. It appears United States President Joe Biden is already working on the next steps to bring her home.

Biden released a statement following Griner’s sentencing on Thursday.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” Biden’s statement read. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

It seems like countless people can agree that what Russia is doing to Griner is unjust, and hopefully Portnoy can put his complaints regarding James aside as the United States tries to focus on bringing Griner home.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.