Following 9 Year Prison Sentence for Brittney Griner, WNBA Players Stand Against Taking Their Talents to Russia

Published 09/21/2022, 6:30 PM EDT

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WNBA star Brittney Griner is all over the news for all the unfortunate reasons. Following her arrest earlier this year by Russian officials, she has been the center of numerous debates across the world.

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Prior to her arrest, she was supposed to join her teammates at UMMC Ekaterinburg. She has been playing for the Russian team during the WNBA off-season since 2014.

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This is mainly due to the low salaries the players are paid in the WNBA. This forces the athletes to take their talents elsewhere in order to earn a living.

According to recent reports, current WNBA stars are skeptical regarding playing in Russia. The country has been a top destination for WNBA players for the past few years because of the high salaries.

Honestly my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with BG still wrongfully detained there, nobody’s going to go there until she’s home“, said Griner’s teammate on the Russian team, Breanna Stewart.

Other WNBA stars like Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot are following a similar path and opting a different route this winter.

How much does Brittney Griner earn compared to top NBA stars?

Thanks to the insane popularity of the league and its stars, NBA athletes are nothing less than celebrities. Needless to say, they earn like celebrities as well.

However, the same cannot be said regarding their female counterparts. The average salary in the NBA is around $7 million while Griner reportedly earns $227k a year.

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Despite being one of the best players in the WNBA, Griner is nowhere close to even the average salary in the NBA. To put things into perspective, the highest-earning player in the NBA is Stephen Curry. He will be earning around $48 million during the 2022-23 season.

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Griner is undoubtedly one of the best players in the league. She was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury as the #1 pick during the 2013 WNBA draft and she has consistently been at the top ever since. 

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In nine seasons, she has been an All-Star on seven occasions. Griner has an average of 20.5 points, 2.7 assists, and 9.5 rebounds with the Mercury in the WNBA.

WATCH THIS STORY: LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Other Legends Who Shaved Their Heads in the NBA

Let us know your thoughts regarding the Brittney Griner situation in the comments down below.

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Written by:

Abhinava Ghosh

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Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.
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