To Supplement Pay, W.N.B.A. Players Put Their Safety at Risk

This off-season, more W.N.B.A. players ended up in Turkey than in any other country. There are now 26, according to the league’s players’ association.

The unrest there — an attempted coup last summer and multiple terrorist attacks — has led some players to question the costs of taking a second job overseas. It has also added urgency to efforts to keep W.N.B.A. players in the United States in the off-season.

“It’s kind of sad we can’t stay home,” said Liberty guard Sugar Rodgers, who played for the Turkish club Osmaniye but returned to Virginia in November because she did not feel safe.

About two weeks after the Liberty were eliminated from the playoffs, Rodgers joined Osmaniye, which is based about two hours from the Syrian border. Shortly after her arrival, a car bombing killed at least 17 people at a checkpoint in Syria’s Aleppo Province.

“That right there shook me,” said Rodgers, who has also played in France, Israel and Slovakia.

She acknowledged that the United States was not immune to such violence, but in Turkey, the threat of danger felt almost constant.

“Getting emails saying families from embassies are…

Read Story

Translate »