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Britney Greiner’s NBA teammates spoke about her arrest in Russia on Wednesday as the players were at a training camp before the start of the game. 2022 WNBA Season.
Angel McCoughtry and Breanna Stewart have spoken about the situation. McCogtry has signed with the Minnesota Links at the offseason and Stewart is preparing for another tour with the Seattle Storm.
“People say she’s 6-foot-9, it’s different. It’s not really about that,” McCrotry said. “It could have been any of us.”
Stewart cited the salary inconsistency as the reason why WNBA players feel compelled to play abroad in the off-season. A WNBA super-salary can earn a player just over $221,000 for the regular season, which runs from May through October.
Players have the option to stay in the US and do other media work in the off-season, but some choose to go to other countries, such as Russia, where they can earn around $1 million or more.
“The important thing is the fact that we have to go in there. It was BJ, but it could have been anyone,” Stewart said. “WNBA players must be evaluated in their home country and will not have to play abroad.”
While the salaries are good, the risks are real.
Stewart’s teammate Sue Bird played in Russia on points during her illustrious football career. She played for WBC Spartak in the Russian Premier League, a club sponsored by former spy KGB company Shabtai Kalmanovich. He was assassinated in 2009.
Byrd recently told CBS News that the money offered changed the course of life.
“Sure. Like, I’m a millionaire because of that. And frankly, I think the more league we get, the more coverage we get, maybe players won’t have to go abroad because they’re going to make enough money here. I think that’s the goal in the end,” Baird said. , adding that she sees higher salaries for WNBA players in the future.
Griner was arrested in February at a Moscow airport for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oils. The Phoenix Mercury Starr has since been arrested and detained while the first reports of her arrest only surfaced earlier this month – days after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said last week that a US embassy official was able to see Grenier recently and was said to be “in good shape.” The Russian government allowed the US to give the consulate access to Griner weeks after she reported her arrest.
WNBA players have been mostly quiet about Griner’s release, which may have been premeditated as officials from the US government and WNBA are working behind the scenes.
WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert told the New York Daily News on March 18, “Everyone gets a strategy that says less and pays more privately behind the scenes. It’s the strategy that she gets from the State Department and the Department. It’s our number one priority. In talking with her agent and strategists.” .
Separately, the WNBA said in a statement on March 17: “In close cooperation with US government agencies, elected officials, individuals and organizations experienced in these matters, and representatives of Britney Graner and her family, we continue to work diligently to bring her safely home to the United States. This remains a complex and challenging situation. very much to Britney, her family, and all who hope for a speedy resolution. Our number one priority remains her safe return.”
Meadowlark Media’s Kate Fagan also provided context on March 5 about why Griner’s arrest was not immediately announced.
Griner could face up to 10 years in a Russian prison if convicted.
Russian media reported that her detention had been extended until May 19. The WNBA season begins May 6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.