WNBA Suspends Brittney Griner for Three Games After Brawl

Brittney Griner on WNBA future: "I'm not doing it for the money because we don't make enough and they want to fine me for every little thing."
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Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and Dallas Wings forwards Kristine Anigwe and Kayla Thornton have been suspended for their involvement in an altercation during the Wings’ 80-77 win over the Mercury on Saturday, the WNBA announced Tuesday.

Griner received a three-game suspension after she threw punches, escalated the incident and pushed Thorton's face. Anigwe was suspended for two games for starting the initial altercation, while Thornton also received a two-game suspension for her role.

All three will begin to serve their suspension on Wednesday.

Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis will also be suspended one game plus receive a $500 fine for leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team. Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner was also fined $500 for her involvement.

Griner spoke publicly about the incident for the first time Monday, saying the only reason she is playing in the WNBA is the love she has for her team. Griner, who leads the league in scoring, added that she is tired of being disciplined by the league when she is trying to protect herself.

"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 to the Arizona Republic. "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 28-year-old Griner is one of the league's highest-paid players, but she also supplements her income by playing for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg after the WNBA season.

Before the suspensions were handed down, Griner said the way the league handles the punishment would determine a lot. 

"How they handle this will determine a lot about the future," Griner said. "Because how can I fight for some league that doesn't even want to protect their players?

"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."

Griner, a six-time WNBA All-Star, is in the final season of her contract with the Mercury.