Should WNBA players get paid like NBA players?

WARNING: although there are facts in this article there are still some comments based off my opinion. If you wish to discuss the matter I will gladly do so with you n the comment section or privately if you choose

Ever since the new collective bargaining deal and tv deal for the NBA there has been much controversy about NBA salaries. This has been because NBA players have been signing super deals for millions of dollars. Steph Curry, NBA superstar recently signed a deal worth 200 million, LeBron James signed on for 154 million over the summer. Their annual salaries are over 30 million dollars.

Some average NBA players are making 17 million plus. John Wall, Washington wizards Superstar has expressed his discontent for the salaries as well. This has been for his own personal reasons. However, he is due for a big pay day soon.

One of the outlets of discontent for these MEGA salaries comes from WNBA players. Many of them have publicly expressed how upset they were about these salaries.

The reasoning behind this is because the average salary for WNBA players is roughly $71,635. Their starting salaries are around $50,000 according to a Forbes article. Some WNBA players play overseas as well because their salaries start at $100,000, and the money from the WNBA just isn’t enough.

The disparity in pay is ridiculous in basketball. The question for today is should WNBA players get paid more, or just as much as NBA PLAYERS?

Why don’t they?

Well, there are obvious answers to these questions. Unfortunately, however in truth there is a flagrant amount of sexism when it comes to women and sports. Living in a male dominant, patriarchal society, and seeing women playing professional sports isn’t on the agenda. It’s an unfortunate truth, and a harsh reality that needs to be rectified.  The WNBA is an exciting league, I personally have watched some games and enjoy the way women play the game. There are some differences between men and women, men do tend to be more athletic and women wield more fundamental skills. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very athletic women in the WNBA. And some of the women do play like men and could definitely hold their own in the NBA.

The other issue is revenue. The WNBA doesn’t get enough views. One article stated that the average view for the WNBA is in the 100,000s. On top of that, the WNBa benefits from the money generated from the NBA revenue. Also, many WNBA teams lose money. This is because of low ratings and people not watching the games. Compared to the NBA, which makes millions of dollars a year, especially with its tv deal and its global appeal. Side note, college basketball for women makes millions of viewers, especially the final four. However, the NCAA is a multi-million dollar enterprise that generates a lot of revenue and doesn’t play their players because they’re considered “amateur”. Thats a discussion for another day though.

With this said, there does seem like a sign of complaining from WNBA players right? In my personal opinion their concerns are valid. Regardless of ratings, the WNBa players should be paid more. This is a form of entertainment, and the NBA has plenty of money to go around. These women go out and play hard everyday for a business that profits off their likeness and wear sponsorships that can also give revenue to the game. There’s no reason as to why they shouldn’t be paid at least a million dollars, or more into the high hundreds of thousands. I say these numbers because this is still a business and there still needs to be revenue gained. The NBA at one time struggled with paying players because there wasn’t enough revenue to go around. The WNBA will have its day when women will get paid bigger salaries.

That being said, with the NBA as global and huge as it is has the platform to advertise and raise the commercial success of the WNBA. These women can play and the league is exciting. They deserve better salaries. As I said earlier they also can have the sponsorships advertise them as well to generate revenue.

The bottom line, the main problem with WNBA players not getting paid is that the league doesn’t have good enough ratings and thus it doesn’t generate enough revenue. My theory for this is because of sexism and that people don’t find women entertaining on the professional level. And this is a stigma that needs to be changed very fast.

Below are some articles that have more information about the current issue.

forbes article

http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/11/wnba-players-stop-complaining-anything-theyre-overpaid/

nytimes article

SI article

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