Opinion: Why Players in the WNBA Should Get Paid More

Jahniya Marion

Many will say women’s basketball is boring or played the wrong way, and they may even say it sucks, but I think we play the game better than the men….how? Because we actually play THE GAME. We use all the fundamentals that the game was made for. We play as a team and, most importantly, we play off each other. The men tend to play to impress or are just out there for the results, and we play for the process. As many may not know, men get paid way more money than women’s basketball does. When it comes to me and my opinions, I strongly believe women should be paid the same amount as men… maybe even more.

As women, we work just as hard or maybe even harder than men do when it comes to achieving our goals. The average woman’s salary year-round is approximately $200,000, while the average man earns $7.5 million or more. Most people will say a lot of our income comes from the number of people we get at our games or maybe even the fact that we can’t afford to have our games channelized on national TV. It seems, though, that women have to do way more endorsements and more advertising than men, and we have to be more than basketball players. Most men, of course, sign with brands or maybe even run their own. However, 48 million dollars per year is more than enough for me. Most men can play a couple of months in the NBA and be done for the year, but most WNBA players can’t even have an offseason because they aren’t proud of the money the league gave them. So playing women’s basketball overseas is way better. You get paid 10 times as much, which is about $500k. That is 1 million in just a year, while for a regular season they get paid $400K in just a year. That’s why most women play their time in the league rather than right after they play overseas, so it’s a year-round thing.

This topic is brought up at least every year, and nothing has changed. Nobody has put any effort into making sure that women can at least get paid more than the amount we get. It doesn’t have to be the same as men at all. When it comes to others’ opinions, I feel as though we get picked on enough, and not getting paid fairly makes it even worse. Boys and men pick on the league every day. They say we are boring or don’t play the game the right way. But to be honest, we play it better than the boys do. Sue Bird, a current player for the Seattle Storm, explained that most people think the WNBA wants the same pay as the NBA when that’s not the case. Sue Bird once said, “We don’t need anybody to feel bad or have sympathy for us. We are just asking for it to be fair and for us to get the pay we deserve. ”

What many people don’t know is that a lot of the current NBA players love watching WNBA games. The NBA loves supporting women, like Kyrie Irving, who is a professional men’s basketball player who currently plays for the New York Nets. Kyrie Irving donated a total of $2 million to the WNBA to show his support. Bradley Beal, who is also a professional player who currently plays for the Washington Wizards, is always finding ways to support the Washington Mystics. He talks about how women’s basketball is his favorite thing to watch because of the way we play the game and work together. This year in the 2022 playoffs, Ja Morant is the starting PG for the Memphis Grizzles. He attended two games with the Dallas Wings and Connecticut Suns. While leading to the WNBA finals in a sell-out game, Kyle Lowry, Ja Morant, Ty Lue, Alvin Gentry, and Demarcus Cousins all attended the WNBA finals this year. So, I think people support us and recognize that women work too hard to get the little pay they do, but where’s the change?

Women work hard to get what they dream of. They go through and make the same sacrifices as men to get what they want. So why are we getting paid so little? We need a change, and we need people to support us in this change. Starting, we need more people advertising and supporting the WNBA, and not only when it’s beneficial for them. We need more businesses to sign women and trust them to support their brands. We need to come together as one and fix this problem. So much talent seems to go to waste because so many girls don’t get drafted since there’s not enough space in the league. What I mean by that is, the WNBA has a total of 3 rounds with only 12 picks, while the NBA has 2 rounds with a total of 60 picks. So most of us don’t get drafted or better yet, we get waved off because there isn’t enough space and they can only pay for so many players. So we need a change, and we need it now.