On average, according to Forbes, WNBA players who logged minutes in 2017, made about $71,635, from no more than 22.8% of the league’s $51.5 million revenue. But, if the women’s league were to pay players 50% of its revenue, the average salary would be about $164,000.
Problem is, that amount is still $651,000 lower than the minimum for a baller with no NBA experience. While it’s no secret that the women in the league are grossly underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts in the NBA, the WNBA’s revenue generation pales in comparison to the NBA. And although, the leagues — both NBA and WNBA — have made strides to increase revenue of the women’s league, it has yet to transition into bigger payouts for players.
And quite frankly, many are completely fed up, including Dallas Wings superstar, Skylar Diggins. In a recent interview with WealthSimple, Diggins opened up about the gender pay gap, dragging Dallas Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes into the fire, to prove her point.
“I’m the highest paid player on the Dallas Wings, and my salary is in the low six figures,” she said. “[Harrison Barnes, the highest paid player on the Dallas Mavericks, made $24 million last season.] He’s definitely younger than me. Do you know his stats? Was he an All-Star? I mean, it doesn’t matter. But last year, I was First Team All-WNBA, which only goes to five players. I was also a WNBA All-Star for the third time.”
Regardless of the individual success in the league, the salaries are not equal, their travel accommodations are not up to par with the work they put in, and in some cases, according to reports, some players play overseas during the offseason to make a bigger buck.
Despite Diggins’ frustration with the gender pay gap, NBA players have been on a mission to make a change for the WNBA, between promotion on social media and marketing tactics, while others speak out about the issue in an effort to make a change.