Seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry expressed support for Brittney Griner during a public appearance on Monday.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison last week stemming from her February arrest for drug possession at a Moscow airport.
How much time she actually serves will depend on prisoner swap negotiations between the United States and Russia.
Horry spoke with Fox News during an appearance at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's "Ping Pong 4 Purpose" charity event on Monday and said he can empathize with Griner's situation.
"I had a friend. He played in Russia and he had a similar situation and it’s just rough on athletes who go there and play. I know the money is good but for me, I’d be too scared to go because you never know when you’re gonna do something … but for Brittney, I just feel sorry for her," the seven-time NBA champion said.
"You go over there, you do something you love and you play for that country, you do a lot of great things for that country and all of a sudden they have a chance to punish you for something that you shouldn’t be punished for, it’s just wrong. And hopefully, I know it’s weird to say ‘appeal and get back’ but hopefully she gets back home soon."
The Biden Administration is reportedly seeking a prisoner swap for Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was arrested in 2018 and convicted on espionage charges.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has spoken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the possibility. Negotiations are ongoing.