Four months after being released from Russian custody, WNBA player Brittney Griner has vowed to never leave American soil to pursue basketball — unless she’s doing so for the United States Olympics. As previously reported by REVOLT, in February 2022, she was arrested at an airport overseas after a vape cartridge containing cannabis oil was found in her luggage. The athlete was sentenced to nine years behind bars, but after much public outcry, released in December 2022.
Today (April 27), Griner appeared before the media at a press conference where a reporter asked the Phoenix Mercury star if she would ever travel outside the United States again for basketball. “I’m never going overseas to play again, unless it’s to represent my country at the Olympics. If I make that team, that’ll be the only time I would leave the U.S. soil, and that’s just to represent the USA,” she responded.
“I’m never going overseas to play again unless I’m representing my country at the Olympics.”
Brittney Griner addressed questions about going overseas and explained the pay gap that leads WNBA players to do so
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2023
Prior to her arrest, Griner would spend the WNBA’s off-season as a member of Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg team. “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 of extra money,” she confessed. The Houston native confessed that she hopes the WNBA will continue to grow and gain the exposure it deserves.
“I hope a lot of these companies start to invest in our craft,” the six-time WNBA All-Star shared. While speaking before the journalists, Griner also explained how she’s been able to make the best of her situation: “I’m no stranger to hard times. You’re gonna be faced with adversities throughout your life, and this was a pretty big one. But I just kind of relied on my hard work. Getting through it. You find a way to just grind it out.”
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