(CBrief) – Outkick host and Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren had words for WNBA player Brittney Griner after she was released last week from Russian custody in which she focused on the basketball player’s past antics, which many critics saw as patently anti-American.
Prior to her arrest in Russia on a drug charge earlier this year, Griner had developed a reputation for protesting during the playing of the National Anthem. During the 2020 season, she joined many other WNBA players who also did not stand during the anthem. She later said she did not believe that the anthem should be played at all before any game.
For her part, Lahren took Griner and the Biden administration to task over trading her for a notorious Russian arms dealer who had been in prison for nearly a decade, Viktor Bout.
“The Biden Administration compromised our national security by releasing a Russian arms dealer nicknamed the merchant of death, all to get back WNBA player Brittney Griner who hates- or at least hated- America,” Lahren said. “As an American, I want to see all Americans return home safely and securely. That’s why I also find it odd that former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan — another prisoner stranded in Russia — was passed over!
“I guess it pays to be a celebrity who plays sports,” Lahren continued. “Regardless of how I feel, the deal is done. Now, my only hope is that Brittney Griner will return home to the USA — the greatest nation on the face of the earth, with a heart full of gratitude, legs ready to stand for the anthem, and lungs ready to belt out that Star Spangled Banner- and from the rooftops.
“I hope she’s learned that the nation she once found so reprehensible and oppressive is not only her saving grace but a damn good place to call home. She- like the rest of us- is privileged to be an American,” Lahren continued, adding: “Welcome home, Brittney, and God bless America. Am I right?”
When she made her comments about the National Anthem, Griner told a press conference that she did not “mean that in any disrespect to our country.”
“My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years,” she said. “I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country.”
Lahren tore into Griner over the summer as well.
“Last week, she pleaded guilty in a Russian court on charges of bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport,” she said in an Outkick video in July. “If you’re wondering, yeah, that’s illegal.”
“Since her detainment in February, her teammates, coaches, family members and friends have been petitioning Joe Biden to bring her home and for good reason. Russia is awful and oppressive. Its legal system is questionable at best, and that’s being kind. No one is sticking up for Russia here, trust me,” the host said. “Last week, Griner even wrote a letter to Joe Biden begging him to do something, even trying to butter up old Joe by saying she cast her first vote for him in 2020.”
“So, yeah, add Griner to the list of people who owe Trump supporters some gas and grocery money,” she added. “But anyway, her pleas have largely fallen on deaf ears … But luckily, luckily, our favorite virtue-signaling self-anointed king of basketball, LeBron James, is weighing in like the true international diplomat he is. On the latest episode of The Shop Uninterrupted. KING Baby Bron questions not only whether the USA has Brittney Griner’s back, but also ponders if he’d even want to come home if he were in her shoes.”
Biden’s decision to trade her for Bout while leaving Whelan in Russia was heavily criticized.
According to the Washington Post, several Department of Justice officials viewed Griner’s exchange for Bout as a massive “mistake” that could lead to the endangerment of American civilians and military personnel.