Former All-Star Calls Out ‘Fake’ Outcry Around WNBA Salaries

WNBA

Caitlin Clark was drafted as the WNBA number one pick with the Indiana Fever and fans on social media are upset about the pay disparity between her and the NBA’s number one pick.

Clark will make about $76,535 in base salary during her rookie year, compared to Victor Wembanyama’s $12.2 million salary in his first year.

Former NBA player Matt Barnes says that people need to support women’s ball in meaningful ways, rather than being ‘fake mad’ on social media about a very complex issue.

“Everyone’s outraged and now Ice Cube looks like he was onto something,” Barnes said on All the Smoke. “But instead of being outraged, you gotta support. You gotta support now. Go to games, watch games on TV, buy merch. Same thing you do for the men, for the NBA side. That’s the only way the WNBA is gonna grow.

“My main question, will the excitement and the love women’s college basketball has captured, will that translate into the NBA? I think there’s a ton of talented rookies that had a lot of great, positive – whether you loved it or not – energy in college that are now in the W. So, will that fan base follow – I think that’s gonna be key.

“All of you that are outraged and mad all of a sudden, like, these salaries have been f***ed up. But up until 2020, the WNBA hadn’t really made no profit. The NBA has kind of been floating it. So again, the only way all this s— changes, these women start getting paid the money they’re worth, is y’all go out there and be fans, man, really be fans. Don’t be fake mad on the internet. Go to these games and support these talented women.”

WNBA salaries are worked out under the current union collective bargaining agreement, which came along in leaps and bounds in 2020, as Barnes mentioned.

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Women’s Max salaries doubled, total cash compensation went up to a half a million dollars, and the agreement also included costings for things like hotel accommodation, health care and maternity benefits for the first time.

It’s also important to note that it’s difficult to compare apples to apples when the NBA brought in $10.58 billion dollars of revenue in 2023, compared to the WNBA’s $200 million in 2023.

As well, both the WNBA and NBA’s labor agreements include revenue sharing, though there are major differences between them.

NBA players receive 51 percent of all revenue (as defined as “basketball-related income”), while the WNBA players receive 50 percent of incremental revenue — (revenue that exceeds certain league-defined targets).

With players like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese entering the league – who generated the highest viewing college basketball game ever (12.3 million viewers) – the Women’s game is certainly in a fantastic position for growth.

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