HUGE news in the WNBA as the league and the player’s association have come to terms with a new 8-year Collective Bargaining Agreement that will completely change the future of the league and women’s sports as a whole.
One of the biggest problems facing the WNBA was that star players simply weren’t compensated enough for their work so they needed to play overseas in the offseason to make more cash. That constant year-long wear and tear came to a head last season when the defending MVP, Breanna Stewart, tore her achilles playing in Russia. She missed the entire 2019 WNBA season.
‘Max’ salaries have jumped up to $500,000 and average salaries will be around $130,000. Salaries jumping up to triple figures is massive.
I always had a theory that unless you were one of the top women in this league getting offers to play internationally, you weren’t making enough to work on your game in the offseason so mid-tier players weren’t developing enough season-by-season.
Now that these women make more, they can spend more money to work on their bodies and stay in shape all year. They can also afford to spend the offseason in the gym improving their skills and getting shots up. Poor people aren’t lifting every day, believe it or not.
And now that salaries have increased, girls who ball in high school and later in college can actually aspire to play professionally in the league because they can now receive a more than livable wage.
Playing for the ‘love of the game’ is cute or whatever but if I’m going to be playing basketball on ESPN, I expect to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in any city in America.
The wildest part of this new CBA is that players are just now receiving their own hotel rooms on the road. That’s insane. Was this cheap ass league like, stuffing six women to one dirty local motel room? 2020 and these big ass 6-feet tall women don’t have to coordinate bedtimes with their teammates.
They also will no longer be traveling coach. Sort of frustrating knowing that the WNBA had the financial capability of allowing these women to travel more comfortably and simply chose not to accommodate them but whatever. It’s 2020. New year, new league.
Players also get paid maternity leave which again, super frustrating that a league where all of the employees are women, didn’t pay for maternity leave. Especially a job that is completely physical which prevents pregnant women and new mothers to work even if they wanted to.
You start to understand Skylar Diggins’s very public anger at the Dallas Wings after saying she played pregnant in 2018.
Dear every employer on the planet, pay for maternity leave. What are you doing? It’s nuts that we punish women for starting a family and creating life. It’s also one of the most expensive life changes so not the best time to take their salary from them.
I think we are about to see some of the best basketball we’ve ever seen thanks to this new CBA.