Brittney Griner was detailed by Russian officials last year and chaos ensued in the United States. The WNBA superstar was caught with vape cartridges that contained marijuana. Although she had no intention of committing a crime and admitted that she wasn t aware of the regulations in the country, the government chose to keep her behind bars.
Grinerwas released through a prisoner swap. The US agreed with Russia to sendViktor Boutand welcome Brittney in return. Many believed this wasn t the smartest thing to do at the time, especially considering that Paul Whelan, an ex-US marine, was still in prison. However, Griner returned home to her family but hopes to help other wrongfully detained Americans as well.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
Recently, Brittney held a press conference, her first since being released from Russia. She addressed plenty of things, and being in prison was one of them as well.
Brittney Griner says the only time she would play basketball overseas would be for Team USA at the Olympics
During the press conference, Brittney said,I m never going overseas to play again unless I m representing my country at the Olympics. If I make that team, that would be the only time I would leave the U.S. soil, and that s just to represent the USA.Although this might surprise many, it is understandable considering she spent 10 months in a foreign prison.
Upon her release,pictures of Brittney working in prison and making her bedwere leaked and they spoke at length about her life in prison. Moreover, it shows how her experience in Russia haunts Brittney even now.
That was not all that Griner said. She also seemingly took a jibe at WNBA s pay scale while mentioning that low pay was the reason she left in the first place.
The whole reason a lot of us go over is the pay gap. A lot of us go over there to make an income, to support our families, to support ourselves. So I don t knock any player that wants to go overseas and make a little bit extra money. I m hoping that our league continues to grow, and with as many people in here right now covering this, I hope you continue, like I said, to cover our league, bring exposure to us,Griner added.
Brittney recently signed anew contractwith the Phoenix Mercury. She will be earning $165,100 for a year with the AZ-based franchise. Before this, she was on a three-year contract worth $664,544. As she mentioned, it looks like the money that WNBA players is extremely low compared to what NBA players take home.
The average NBA player makes more than $5 million, depending on the experience they have in the league. And their performances in the past will be factored in as well. As of 2023, the highest-paid WNBA players make less than $300,000.
Brittney believes that WNBA players should be paid more than what they receive currently. Ultimately, this would prevent players from going overseas, and facing complications like she did. The Mercury superstar is gearing up to return for the 2023-24 WNBA season in the coming months, and all eyes will be on her after a long absence.