The WNBA legend says that many people in the basketball world were told not to launch a movement because Russian officials could use Griner as a “pawn.”
In a sit down with I Am Athlete, basketball legend Lisa Leslie revealed that she, and others, were told not to speak about Griner as to not draw attention to the case.
“What we were told, and again, this is all sort of passed along through hearsay, but what we were told was to not make a big fuss about it so that they could not use her as a pawn, so to speak, in this situation in the war,” Leslie said. “So, to make it like it’s not that important, or don’t make it like ‘Free Brittney’ and we start this campaign, and then it becomes they could use. That’s what we were ‘told’ and I don’t want to say who said that, but it’s what’s been spreading throughout the women’s basketball world.”
“Do we know if that’s the right thing to do or not?” Leslie continued. “It’s heartbreaking for all of us. That’s the feelings of it. You want to do more, and think, should we all use our social media platform and get behind it or not? Nobody really [knows]. This is the first time we’re in this situation, and we don’t know what to do.”
It was reported that an American diplomat has met with Griner and she seems to be doing well under the circumstances. It is unclear if and when she will be released, but it has been shared by a Russian news outlet that Griner could receive upwards of 10 years in prison.
Watch Lisa Leslie on I Am Athlete below.