Massachusetts Lawmaker Slammed For Saying Caitlin Clark Should Make As Much As NBA Players

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WNBA players should make as much as NBA players, according to U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-Revere).

The Democratic member of Congress lamented on social media that former college basketball star Caitlin Clark, who was recently drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever, will make $338,000 over four years on her rookie contract. That’s $84,500 per year.

However, the representative thinks that because Victor Wembanyama received a four-year $55 million contract when he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs first overall in the 2023 NBA draft ($11.25 million per year), that means Clark should make the same.

“Caitlin Clark is the highest-scoring player in NCAA history,” the liberal lawmaker posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. She deserves equal pay. And so does every woman — on the court and off. It’s 2024. Enough is enough.”

Katherine Clark posted the comment in response to an article from Today’s web site highlighting the difference in salary between the two players.

Commenters on the site slammed the liberal lawmaker for her post, claiming she knows nothing about the economics of either league.

Donnie Palmer, a Republican from Dorchester who plans to run for Congress in the state’s Seventh District, said the women’s professional basketball league needs more support for the salaries to be comparable to the NBA.

“Maybe more women should support other women and go to games if women want equal pay!” Palmer posted on X.

A user named Brad quipped that NBA and WNBA players have different employers with different business models, so their pay will differ.

“Not sure you understand the concept of equal pay,” he posted on X. “They work for two completely different employers, and have a collective bargaining agreement that dictates how much they get paid (as a democrat you should know all about unions and CBAs).”

Meanwhile, a user named Kent Straith pointed out that the WNBA can’t afford to pay its players as much as the NBA.

“The WNBA doesn’t make enough money for equal pay,” he posted on X. “Equal pay is literally impossible.”

Another user named Jesse Resendez had another idea:  he thinks Katherine Clark should figure out how to pay WNBA players more.

“You’re right,” he posted on X. “You should cover the difference. Better yet, look into the WNBA’s books and do a complete overhaul.”

And a user named Rudy told the Democrat that she doesn’t understand the women’s league if she thinks it can pay players as much as the NBA.

“It’s like you all don’t understand the business model,” he posted on X. “Equal outcomes for non equal play is a fallacy at best. No body pays to watch the games or sponsors the games. It makes no money.”

The WNBA as a whole has never turned a profit in its entire existence, though individual teams have. The league, overall, on average, loses about $10 million per year, according to Deseret News. Historically, the NBA has subsidized the league, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, making up for some of those losses. Those subsidies have been worth up to $15 million per year.

The so-far-men-only National Basketball Association generates $10 billion in revenue per season before expenses, whereas the Women’s National Basketball Association generates just $200 million — 5 percent of the NBA’s total revenue. For reference, the Golden State Warriors payroll for players alone this season is $209 million

In addition, the WNBA plays a shorter season than the NBA:  40 games versus 82 games.

There is also a skill gap between the two leagues; a woman has never played in the NBA despite no rules prohibiting it.

Katherine Clark’s office could not be reached for comment on Tuesday or Wednesday.


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