Will Support from LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner from a Russian Prison?
How much real clout do celebrities have when it comes to international politics?
Anyone who knows anything about my life knows that I’m not shy about publicly speaking out when it comes to something I consider an injustice. I’ve been doing it for 55 years—with mixed results. One lesson I learned over the years is to measure what I want to say with how much closer those words will bring about my goal. Taking a stance shouldn’t be about me putting my outrage on display, but about achieving measurable positive change to the injustice. I want to make things better, not worse. But it’s not always easy to know the difference.
Especially in the the case WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Griner, who has been in a Russian prison for the past five months and is facing a possible ten more years, has evoked a lot of passionate support from politicians, sports figures, and celebrities (myself included). They want her immediately released and returned home to the United States and they have been very vocal about it in the media.
I’m sure there are those out there who think the government ought to send in a Mission: Impossible squad with latex Putin masks and cool laser gadgets to spring her. The rest of us are looking for more practical solutions. But choosing the best solution has resulted in a lot of online bickering and backlash among Griner’s supporters that has gone viral. Especially between NBA players LeBron James and Enes Kanter Freedom. I’ll get to that later.
Which begs the question: Despite massive celebrity and public outcry on behalf of Brittney Griner, are we helping or hurting her chances for freedom?