Male athletes discuss Brittney Griner case & pay disparities for women
STATELINE, Nev. (KOLO) -Advocacy has remained consistent in the sports world and non-profit realm which are near and dear to Brittney Griner’s heart.
While in Stateline, many men who were golfing in the American Century Championship, made sure Griner’s name is lifted and that efforts don’t stop to not only have her released, but remove the inequities that surround pay in the WNBA.
“It’s not enough to wear a WNBA sweatshirt around and post on social media, people have to start putting their money where their mouths are on these issues,” ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas explains.
What’s not being discussed in great depth, is why Griner was in Russia. She makes $220,000 a year as a pro athlete, so she goes overseas to supplement her income in the off season, something her male counterparts in the NBA rarely have to do.
“It seems like it’s the responsibility of the league. But you also have to ask the question, what about the NBA Players Association. Are women going to be members of that, should they be and should men pour more of the revenues towards women’s sports and I think those are important questions that need to be answered,” Bilas adds.
“The WNBA is an amazing space, obviously thoughts and prayers and continued awareness around the Brittney Griner situation...so there’s just a lot of positive momentum, but we can’t let our foot off the gas pedal on ways that we can all continue to make a difference and support women’s athletics,” 4-time NBA Champion, Stephen Curry says.
This case, for many, amplifies the inequities that still exist when it comes to women receiving equal pay. As we’re in the midst of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark civil rights law.
“We need to do everything in our power to help her come home. To be detained for such a ridiculous accusation, it makes you really appreciate the freedoms that we have here in the United States, and it makes you want to fight harder for people who are oppressed and the well-being of other people around the world,” former NFL Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald tells us. He is a minority owner with the Phoenix Mercury, Griner’s team.
“I know my daughters are going to grow up and they may be athletes, they may not be. They may be the next president of the United States, but if they get that opportunity, it’s going to start with this generation creating those opportunities for them,” NFL Quarterback Robert Griffin III says.
There have been talks that Russian leaders may be willing to trade Griner for a Russian arms dealer nicknamed “The Merchant of Death” who is currently serving a 25 year sentence in the U.S.
Griner is back in court on Tuesday, July 26. The Kremlin has denied that Griner’s imprisonment is politically motivated. She wrote President Biden on the 4th of July, expressing her fear and to please not forget about her.
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