Brittney Griner. WNBA star Brittney Griner.

.American basketball star Brittney Griner has actually been apprehended in Russia and deals with drug smuggling charges.The Olympic gold medalist invests her WNBA offseasons contending for Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg.Griner and other ladies'' s basketball stars command much greater incomes overseas than in the United States.

Seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner was apprehended at a Moscow airport in February for belongings of vape cartridges filled with marijuana oil.

The 6-foot-9 Phoenix Mercury super star now confronts 10 years in a Russian jail for “” massive transport of drugs,” ” according to The New York Times. Griner has actually currently been apprehended in the nation for 3 weeks according to a fellow WNBA gamer and, provided intensifying stress in between the United States and Putin'' s program, might invest a prolonged amount of time in Russian custody.

The terrible scenario has actually shaken the American sports landscape to its core, however paradoxically, the scenarios that resulted in Griner'' s arrest might have been prevented completely had the American market positioned a greater worth on her skill. The famous hooper was just in Russia to supplement her earnings.

 Brittney Griner high fives her Phoenix Mercury colleagues. Griner (center) high fives her Phoenix Mercury colleagues.

Like numerous other females'' s basketball gamers, Griner invests her WNBA offseason contending overseas. Given that 2014, she'' s worn for Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg along with a turning group of fellow WNBA super stars, consisting of Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, and Emma Meesseman.

All of these gamers command substantially greater incomes abroad than they can potentially make in the states. This year, Griner is set to take house a league-maximum $227,900 yearly wage from the Mercury, however just recently has her payday climbed up into the six-figure variety.

She supposedly makes $1 million per season with UMMC Ekaterinburg, per The Arizona Republic'' s Jeff Metcalfe .

 Griner (best) contends for Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg throughout the WNBA offseason. Griner (right) contends for Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg throughout the WNBA offseason.

Even under normal situations, this two-season-per-year way of life is far from suitable. Without appropriate time to rest and restore their bodies, professional athletes like Griner frequently discover themselves handling unpleasant injuries in addition to sped up wear and tear that can cut their expert professions short.

But throughout minutes of global crisis —– like the early days of the pandemic or today, as Russia salaries war in Ukraine —– WNBA gamers handling sidelines overseas ends up being even more dangerous. Thanks to the quickly degrading relationship in between her house nation and her offseason home, Griner might be a pawn in an intense fight in between 2 worldwide superpowers.

According to The New York Times , Griner'' s arrest might be connected to a Russian effort “” to produce take advantage of for a possible detainee exchange with the American federal government or a decrease in sanctions connected to the [Ukraine] intrusion.” ” In the past, the Times ' Jonathan Abrams continues because very same post, “” Russia has actually been apprehending and sentencing American residents on what United States authorities typically state are trumped-up charges.””

 Russian President Vladimir Putin Russian President Vladimir Putin purchased an intrusion of surrounding Ukraine.

Whether her detainment is linked to the bigger geopolitical fight or not, Griner probably wouldn'' t remain in this scenario if not for this pay variation.

Had she made a portion of what her NBA equivalents do while playing locally, Griner might have remained in the United States for the offseason without worry that she wouldn'' t have sufficient cash for retirement. She might have rested her 6-foot-9 frame ahead of this summertime'' s WNBA season, as her reloaded Mercury team sets its sights on a 2nd straight WNBA Finals look, and she might have hung around back house with pals and enjoyed ones.

Most notably, had she been provided a chance to make $1 million in America rather of Russia, Griner might have prevented prison time under a hostile foreign power.

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