Launched in 1996, the WNBA has some of the greatest basketball talents we have seen. As a young league, they have endured the issue of generating revenue and tickets sales. Despite the lack of a fan base as big as the NBA, WNBA players feel as if they are underpaid.
WNBA rookie, A’ja Wilson, emphasized the disparity in pay between the two leagues after LeBron James’ $154 million deal was announced. Wilson is renowned for being very vocal.
“We over here looking for an M, but Lord let me get back in my place,” said the 2018 1st overall pick.
154M ……….. must. be. nice. We over here looking for a M ? but Lord, let me get back in my lane pic.twitter.com/IFDZLlI53z
— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) July 2, 2018
The WNBA is making pennies compared to the big bucks of the NBA and its newest star is not happy. Unfortunately, one is the reason is the result of the enormous revenue gap. The NBA is a $7.4 Billion industry, compared to the WNBA’s $25 Million.
WNBA president, Lisa Border, sat down with Forbes recently to back her players’ statement.
“People do not believe that women can be superb professional athlete,” said Border. That frankly is an ignorant perspective, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to see a game, a player or experienced the game, then perhaps you have an uninformed perspective. We invite folks into the area to actually see a game.”
According to CNBC, the starting salary for an NBA player is $565,000. On the other hand, a WNBA players’ salary caps at $110,000.
The WNBA (1996) is ultimately in its early stages of growth. In 1969, NBA players were most likely making the same amount. According to Yahoo Sports, the first time an NBA player made over $1 million was in 1979. Women’s basketball will continue to grow as more players take interest in joining the league after college.
Leaders like Aja Wilson stand to combat gender biased, despite its existence in sports and entertainment. Her efforts will only make the path easier for the women athlete who comes after her.