Brittney Griner Aug 8, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States centre Brittney Griner (15) reacts to a call against Japan in the women’s basketball gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

WNBA superstar Brittney Griner spent most of last year in Russian custody after she was arrested and charged with drug possession after authorities found small amounts of prescription cannabis oil in her luggage and sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony. For that reason, it sounds like she’ll be limiting her international travel in the future.

Brittney Griner initially chose to play in Russia during the WNBA offseason to make extra money due to the relatively small WNBA contracts. During her first press conference with the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday afternoon, Griner was asked if she would consider playing overseas again, and she had a pretty blunt response.

“I’m never going overseas to play again unless I’m representing my country at the Olympics. If I make that team, that would be the only time I’d leave U.S. soil. And that’s just to represent the USA,” Griner said.

It’s a pretty clear message that’s certainly understandable, given what happened last time. And her reaction has since gone viral on social media.

Griner hopes that one day WNBA players are compensated well enough that they don’t have to go overseas for more money.

“I’ll say this, the whole reason a lot of us go over is the pay gap,” Griner said. “A lot of us go over 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. I’m hoping that our league continues to grow.”

[Khristina Williams]