Brittney Griner Warns That WNBA's Response to Brawl 'Will Determine' Her Future

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2019

PHOENIX, AZ- AUGUST 10: Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury looks on during the game against the Dallas Wings on August 10, 2019 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

How the WNBA handles the punishments stemming from Saturday's scuffle during the Dallas Wings' 80-77 victory over the Phoenix Mercury will apparently play a role in how long Brittney Griner remains in the league.

"How they handle this will determine a lot about the future," Griner said, per Jeff Metcalfe of the Arizona Republic (h/t USA Today). "Because how can I fight for some league that doesn't even want to protect their players?"

Griner, who is in the final year of her contract with the Mercury, implied she may not have even played in the league this season if she were on another team: "They better hope our coaches and GM (Jim Pitman) don't go anywhere and DB (DeWanna Bonner) plays here forever. Because I'll be done in a heartbeat if I was anywhere else."

Metcalfe noted Griner makes approximately the league maximum of $115,000 this season in the NBA, which is notably less than the seven figures she makes on her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the offseason.

"I'm not doing it for the money because we don't make enough and they want to fine me for every little thing," Griner said. "I'm getting techs for protecting myself in games and flagrants because they always only see me. They never see anything beforehand. I'm basically not getting paid this summer already (due to fines)."

The comments come after Griner was one of six players ejected during Saturday's matchup.

She threw punches toward Kristine Anigwe after they were tangled under the basket and then chased her around the court. Both were ejected along with Phoenix's Diana Taurasi and Briann January and Dallas' Kayla Thornton and Kaela Davis.

Griner suggested Thornton should face a longer suspension considering she ran after the Phoenix center after the play and attempted to hit her.

"Honestly Thornton should get the most because she wasn't involved," Griner said, per Metcalfe. "You weren't involved. You should have been like everybody else, trying to calm it down. Everybody that was just trying to calm it down, they got ejected. That should be their punishment. They shouldn't get any games. Because how are you going to let your teammate get jumped and go try to help cool it down?"

Griner is one of the WNBA's most notable players as a six-time All-Star and the league's leading scorer.

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