The disparity that the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players face has finally gotten the spotlight in a recent collective bargaining agreement opt out.
It is no shock that some of the most successful players in the league only get a fraction of what an NBA player sees on their paycheck. But this has been an issue for the league that has been brought up time after time.
In 2015, Phoenix Mercury star, Diana Taurasi decided to take the summer off since her overseas club, UMMC Ekaterinburg was offering a very notable wage. In the WNBA, she was making approximately $107,000 throughout the season while playing overseas increased her wage to approximately $1.5 million.
This scared the WNBA as Taurasi is a valuable player in the league and was the first to seriously consider taking a break because of the financial benefit that an overseas team offered.
Taurasi, like many other players in the league, is ready to see an increase in wages, but also looks forward to a movement toward equality in the CBA.
Seeing an increase in wages is not a fast process, especially with the fact that the WNBA has only been around for 22 years. As a young league, there is still a risk factor for the success of it, a large increase in wages might be the ethical act to take, but would not financially help profit or expand the league.
Yet, wages are one of the many concerns that WNBA players have with the CBA.
Terri Jackson, director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association told ESPN, “Seeing that the players overwhelmingly voted for an opt-out shows the unity and desire for a more fair CBA. We look forward to kicking off the negotiations with the league shortly.”
The first steps for rebuilding relationships between the players and the league is only commencing. The WNBPA officials have been speaking on the matter and pushing blame on the financial team behind the WNBA.
WNBPA president, Nneka Ogwumike told Forbes, “We never get to see the numbers. We don’t know how the league is doing.”
This has caused many problems for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who admits that the agreement that was put in place for the WNBA players needs work.
For Silver and Jackson it is crunch time, the CBA agreement got shortened and will only be valid through the 2020 season. With a lot of comments in the air, there is no confirmation of what the new CBA agreement will consist of.
As this iconic fight between the CBA and its professional athletes continues, it is far from over.
Lucero Del Rayo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @del_rayo98 on Twitter.
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