Why was Brittney Griner Playing in Russia? Better Pay

2 min read|Mar 15, 2022|fbtwitteremail

Last month, WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was detained in Russia on alleged drug charges. And if you’re wondering what she was doing over there — simply put, better pay. The Phoenix Mercury star plays with the EuroLeague team UMMC Ekaterinburg, and makes around four times her current $227,900 WNBA salary. 

NBA players can make millions of dollars here in the states. WNBA players at the top of their game like Griner make much less. That’s a huge problem. And one worth taking a close look at on Equal Pay Day. 

Since about half of the WNBA’s athletes play overseas during the offseason, Griner’s situation may make some of them think twice about claiming additional income, especially as war rages between Russia and Ukraine. To learn more about what’s happening with Griner and how it may affect other WNBA players, we talk to sports journalist Meredith Cash.  

And all month long, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting cool women we think you should know. Today, check out female athletes that are changing the game in men’s sports including:

  • Katie Sowers, the first openly gay person to coach in a Super Bowl

  • Natalie Nakase, the NBA’s first woman coach

  • Rachel Balkovec, the first woman manager of minor-league baseball team, Tampa Tarpons

Celebrate their wins by checking out theSkimm’s website for a timeline of amazing women who are breaking the rules and busting up barriers. And to help us bring you the stories you want to hear throughout the year, fill out this quick listener survey.  

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Skimm'd by Senior Producer and Host Bridget Armstrong. Produced by Alaisha Key. Engineered by Andrew Callaway. TheSkimm’s senior director of audio is Graelyn Brashear.


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