Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

US basketball player Caitlin Clark discusses female athlete salaries.

By knl9j Apr18,2024
News

At the WNBA draft, the athlete was selected first overall. However, he receives a far smaller pay than his colleague Victor Wembanyama.

GLOBAL – The White House is joining in as well. It was expected that Caitlin Clark will join the professional women’s basketball league in the United States. On the other hand, the player’s wage was deemed excessively inadequate by sports enthusiasts.

The Iowan athlete dazzled the world in his final collegiate year. The Indiana Fever team selected her for the first position in the WNBA, and on Tuesday, April 16, the specialized website Sportrac promptly disclosed her compensation.

The person LeBron James dubbed would make $338,000 over four years, with $76,000 in the first year, as you can see above. After that, his income would rise annually. But in contrast to the sum obtained by Victor Wembanyama, it appears absurdly small. Initially selected in the first round of the boy’s draft in 2023, the Frenchman made $12 million in the 2023–2024 season alone, out of the $55 million projected over four years.

Record attendance and heightened WNBA interest

This gender disparity has sparked protests from a large number of Americans. Particularly considering that Caitlin Clark has broken records and elevated women’s basketball viewing to unprecedented heights—the Iowa Hawkeyes vs. South Carolina Gamecocks championship game attracted an audience record of 24 million people.

On Tuesday, even Joe Biden responded on X. “Sporting women never stop pushing the envelope and motivating us all.” However, he continued, “We are finding that women are not getting their fair share, even if you are the best. The Democratic president continued, “It’s time to give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and to make sure that women get paid what they deserve.”

The women’s league said to CBS that “Caitlin Clark should earn half a million dollars or more thanks to WNBA revenues next season, in addition to which she will have partnerships that already exceed 3 million euros.” With the new player drawing a lot of attention, the WNBA also hopes to see an increase in its TV revenues. However, there would still be a huge pay gap between men and women.

In her first season with the Indiana Fever, college basketball sensation Caitlin Clark will make less than six figures, which will rekindle the discussion about how much professional women athletes in the United States are paid legitimately.

The WNBA’s top draft pick of the year, Clark, will start at $76,535 and make about $338,000 over the course of her four-year deal with the Fever. The collective bargaining agreement for the league states that the second, third, and fourth picks in this year’s draft would all make $76,535 in their first year of play. Over the next six years, the base yearly compensation for all four athletes will only slightly increase: it will be $78,066 in 2025, $85,873 in 2026, and $97,582 in 2027.

A salary scale included in the players’ agreement with the league states that lower-ranked WNBA draft picks make less money. Depending on their performance at the end of the season, players can also receive bonuses. The “Rookie of the Year” award, for instance, has a $5,150 incentive.

When CBS MoneyWatch asked the WNBA for comment on how it determines athlete wages, the league did not immediately reply.

Clark makes more money than just the WNBA pay. It is anticipated that she will ink endorsement contracts that will bring in considerably more money than the five figures she would receive for her basketball skills. Her name, image, and likeness are currently valued at $3 million, and this amount is anticipated to increase. She has previously appeared in TV ads for companies including Nike, Gatorade, and State Farm.

Nevertheless, Clark’s base salary is pitiful when compared to that of her NBA colleagues. The first choice in the NBA draft the previous year, rookie Victor Wembanyama, earned over $12 million in his first NBA season, according to sports data website Spotrac.According to an Indeed job posting, her income is about the same as that of a junior or first-year attorney at a national law firm based in New York.

President Biden commented on the topic of salary inequality in sports on Tuesday, after some internet pundits expressed shock at Clark’s salary.

“Sportswomen never stop pushing the envelope and motivating us all. However, women are now not receiving their fair share of compensation, even if they are the greatest, he stated in a post on X (previously known as Twitter). “It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve.”

Of course, there is disagreement on what female athletes “deserve”. The NBA was established several years ago and brings in billions of dollars every year. In comparison, the WNBA was established in 1996 and is much smaller, with an estimated $200 million in revenue each year, as per a Just Women’s Sports study.

“There isn’t an endless reservoir of money they get to deal with,” Greg Bouris, an Adelphi University professor of sports management, said to CBS MoneyWatch regarding the topic of player compensation. He also added that the WNBA must significantly increase its revenue in order for player salaries to rise. “It comes down to economics.”

Even though Clark has become a huge sensation in college basketball, he pointed out that she hasn’t yet proven herself in the professional ranks. This is one of the main causes of the rookie salary caps imposed by the NBA and WNBA.

“They are coming in to play against the best basketball players in the world and they have yet to prove themselves,” Bouris stated. “Sucess at one level doesn’t guarantee success at the other.”

Similarly, Clark is anticipated to bring a great deal of glitz to the league, just as she did in drawing a bigger TV viewership for the women’s NCAA tournament than the men’s.

“She’s going to raise all boats”

“The WNBA has an opportunity to take advantage of her momentum in earned media coverage as she enters the league.” She’s significantly boosting the economy, according to Bouris. “She’s going to raise all boats.”

Top players in the WNBA frequently compete overseas during the U.S. league’s off-season to supplement their salary, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation, an advocacy group for women in sports founded by tennis icon Billie Jean King. WNBA player Brittney Griner is one among them; she was imprisoned in Russia while playing there and said in a prior interview that “the whole reason a lot of us go over is the salary disparity.” ”

In recent years, the WNBA has taken significant steps to advance wage parity. WNBA players used to make less than 23 percent of the league’s total revenue, compared to about 50 percent for NBA players. But as of the most recent labor agreement with the league, that percentage shot up to 50%.

However, there is still a pay disparity in professional basketball and most other sports; the only athletes that experience some equity are female tennis players. According to Spotrac, the NBA’s minimum rookie salary for the 2022–2023 season was $953,000.

While Ketra Armstrong, a professor of sports management at Michigan University, believes Clark is underpaid in comparison to their abilities, she also believes that many WNBA players are.

“It’s a structural issue, and you can’t look at salaries in isolation or compare them to how much the men make because there are stark differences there,” Armstrong said, referencing the huge income differential between the NBA and the WNBA, to CBS MoneyWatch.

In summary, in order to raise player wages, the WNBA will need to grow ticket and retail sales, obtain larger broadcast deals, and secure more lucrative corporate sponsorships. However, Armstrong saw this as a potential turning point for the league.

“There is a definite Caitlin Clark impact. The WNBA is seeing vitality and vibrancy like never before, she claimed. “If we can get a groundswell increase in ticket sales for all WNBA teams, more merchandise sales, more media exposure, and more people investing, we’ll start to see movement in revenue.”

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