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Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

WNBA vs. NBA paygap short opinion

Caitlin+Clark+and+Angel+Reese+faced+off+two+times+in+the+NCAA+Womens+March+Madness+Basketball+tournament+%2F+bleacher+report%2F
Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese faced off two times in the NCAA Womens March Madness Basketball tournament / bleacher report/

Professional basketball is the love of many sports fans all around the world. One of the longest standing issues between professional men’s and women’s sports is the contrast in pay. Regardless of the elite talents and the performances that both leagues showcase, the significant salary gap between the National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association remains controversial. While athletes of the NBA receive salaries up to 135 million, the female athletes of the WNBA have yet to even reach a contract of $500,000.

Following this year’s WNBA draft, some of the salaries of athletes were released to the media. After an astonishing season at Iowa University averaging 28 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, Caitlin Clark was selected as the first pick in the draft by the Indiana Fever. Angel Reese, averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and 1 assist was selected as seventh pick by the Chicago Sky. Reese’s four year contract comes to a total of $324,000, and  Clark’s four year contract comes to a total of $338,056.

 

The comparison comes into play when you look at the starting rookie salaries for the NBA. For example, the 1st round draft pick in 2023 Victor Wembanyama has a four year contract coming out to almost $60 million, more than 10 times what Clark and Reese were offered combined. A reason why many basketball fans worldwide believe this pay gap exists is the difference in popularity throughout the leagues. 

 

Logically, the NBA generates much higher revenue and contains a larger viewership. As a result the NBA is able to offer higher salaries to its incoming players. Popularity and demand for the NBA contribute to higher ticket sales, merchandise sales, and even sponsorship’s which increases revenue further.  In contrast, the WNBA has a smaller fan base which produces less revenue, which affects the overall salary structure. The maximum salary in the WNBA is around $215,000, while the NBA’s is $135 million, reflecting the difference in advertising revenue has much higher salary caps.

 

The pay gap between men and women is a complex issue and efforts should be made to address this gap and promote equality throughout sports.

 

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese will both be coming to DC on June 6th and June 7th, respectively. You can buy tickets here

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