This week the NBA reportedly agreed to a new way for high school basketball players to begin their pro careers. They will be offered a “professional path” to the G League with select $125k base salaries, giving players an alternative to the “one-and-done” route.
It didn’t take long for the news to garner responses from the WNBA community. Players like Chiney Ogwumike, A’ja Wilson, and Brittney Griner shared their reactions on social media.
But lowkey the real question here is: with this being more than the WNBA max salary, would women be allowed to hoop in the GLeague? because I think some of us could hang. Asking for a friend. ?✊? ? https://t.co/tTLYEg7UzL
— Chiney Ogwumike (@Chiney321) October 18, 2018
“Sport” ?!! Isn’t basketball…basketball? Ohh because I’m a female it isn’t a sport anymore ? whew chile ppl funny and pls don’t sweetheart me https://t.co/uIPjDWwBaF
— A’ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) October 19, 2018
The wage gap between NBA and WNBA players has always been a travesty, but this year it’s become more of an ongoing public conversation with players, fans, and even media speaking out.
Awesome. Now invest that same amount, or more, into the WNBA. https://t.co/xCro6B1MsQ
— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) October 18, 2018
So an 18 year old with no pro experience will–out the gate— make more than a decorated Olympian, All-Star, 4x WNBA champion, and Euroleague champion.
— Lo Ira (@LoIra_BTW) October 18, 2018
WNBA star Cappie Pondexter suggested that players would be encouraged to engage in a formal strike if some of the league’s top stars led the charge, and has been vocal about the gender wage gap for pro female hoopers. WNBA guard Skylar Diggins-Smith wrote an essay on Wealthsimple about the subject over the summer.
Of course, these kinds of reactions from Wilson, Griner, and Ogwumike take even more precedent, because the salaries being offered to teenagers are more than the maximum contracts for WNBA players, which is nothing short of insulting.