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A Greater Appreciation

Updated: Jul 15


During a recent episode of the podcast, “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” LeBron James, who never misses an opportunity to disparage America, said that WNBA star, Brittney Griner who is imprisoned in Russia, should feel like, “Do I even want to go back to America?” Apparently, Lebron believes that America is to blame for what has happened to Brittney Griner. It was not her fault that she made the conscious decision to violate Russia’s drug laws; it was not Russia’s fault for railroading her into prison. It's 100% America’s fault. America is to blame. America is the reason why Brittney Griner used drugs in Russia, and that Russia is a totalitarian regime with no due process. That is all America’s fault. Next, LeBron will blame America for the Uyghur concentration camps in China.


Apparently, LeBron believes that the United States should have already gotten Brittney Griner released from Russian. He believes that should have been very easy. It is not as if Russia is at war with one of our allies, and it is not as if we have been supporting their enemy with tens of billions of dollars of sophisticated weaponry to fight that war, and it is not like we have placed crippling sanctions on Russia’s economy. None of that should matter. We should have simply made one phone call to Vladimir Putin, and she would have been released within 24 hours. I guess we did not do that because we are racists.


It is true that Russia is willing to swap Brittney Griner for a Russian that we have in prison, but we are hesitant. LeBron believes we should have already made that prisoner swap. He doesn’t care that the person the Russians want in exchange is a convicted terrorist and arms trafficker Viktor Bout, whose murderous exploits have earned him the nickname the “Merchant of Death”, convicted in 2008, and sentenced to 25 years for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles and providing aid to a terrorist organization.


So, because Britney Griner wanted to use drugs in Russia, we must release a violent terrorist back to Russia who will immediately start plotting ways to kill American citizens and commit acts of international terrorism, and if America is not onboard with that swap, America is wrong. Maybe the better solution is, when you go to foreign countries, obey their laws. Simply because you can smoke pot at will in America and get away with it, doesn’t mean that you can do the same in other countries, especially a country like Russia.


In a letter to President Biden pleading for help to get her out of Russia, she said that she had a newfound appreciation for July 4 – Our Independence Day. Griner wrote, "On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year." But remember, Britney Griner was one of the WNBA players who decided to boycott our national anthem before her basketball games. She said, “I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season… I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem.” I have never been in a Russian prison, but I don’t need to have my freedom and rights taken away to want to honor America and show appreciation for those freedom and rights. And that’s what Griner has never been able to do.


When she was enjoying the freedoms and the rights of being an American, she disrespected our flag, our country, our national anthem, and our constitution. Here is a person who is living in America, playing basketball for a living, with zero understanding or appreciation for what America is all about. Before being imprisoned in Russia, did she ever sit back and think how lucky she was to have been born in the United States, how lucky she is to be protected by our Constitution? Has she ever been thankful for being an American? She’s thankful now because she finally has seen what it’s like to live in many of the other countries around the world who do not have the freedoms and the rights and the opportunities and the justice system that America has. Sadly, far too many citizens also fail to appreciate American greatness.


LeBron James is the worst of them. His net worth is over $1 billion for playing a game, yet he never shows an ounce of appreciation for America. He still does business with China, aiding and abetting our biggest global enemy, a country who is hellbent on destroying our country. He has no problem kowtowing to China while disrespecting America. He refuses to criticize China whose record on civil rights is one of the worst in the world yet is completely willing to criticize the United States of America who has one of the best civil rights records.


And this is the problem with many people of the younger generations. There is no appreciation or acknowledgement for what America is, and what America affords its citizens. They have been spoiled by the greatness of America to the point that they no longer see America as great. And it is only when the greatness of America is stripped from them, when they will finally see how great America actually is. The problem is their lack of appreciation of American greatness will be the reason they will allow America to be destroyed. And like Brittney Griner, it will only be when they lost America, when they will finally appreciate America.


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Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind