Portland Trail Blazers star Point Guard Damian Lillard is siding with the women of the WNBA in the belief that they deserve to make more money as professional athletes. The First team All-NBA guard made his statements during an interview after watching the Las Vegas Aces defeat the Connecticut Suns in a nail-biting 90-94 final score.
“They deserve a lot more respect. They deserve to make a lot more money than they do. I think it’s time people start recognizing that they are professional athletes and they should be treated like it and their league should be elevated and treated that way as well,” Dame told reporters.
Demar DeRozan, who was also in attendance spoke to reporters after the game giving the same sentiments as Lillard. “I think they deserve way more recognition than they’re getting… the excitement, the way they play, the skill level that they go out there and display is awesome,” DeRozan said.
The window for this conversation opened after Las Vegas Aces star player A’Ja Wilson spoke out about the difference in pay between NBA and WNBA players. Wilson made her comments on Twitter using Lebron’s huge payday from the Lakers as her point of reference. “154 million. Must be nice,” Wilson wrote on Twitter. “We over here looking for a million but Lord, let me get back in my lane.”
The former number one overall pick followed up this tweet to let fans know she has nothing against LeBron. The Aces Center dropped 34 points in the team’s win over Connecticut while adding 14 rebounds.
According to Forbes, WNBA salaries cap at about $110,000, a frighteningly small fraction of the average salary NBA players make in one season. In 2016, the average NBA athlete stood to make $6.4 million.