Gender Wage Gap in Professional Basketball

Why is it that the best female basketball player in history only makes $115,233? Or that the average salary in the WNBA is roughly $75,931? While the average salary in the NBA is $6.4 million dollars…

Both genders are playing their respective sport at the highest level.  The amount of time they dedicate to training is equally comparable.  So why is it that WNBA players make far less than their male counterparts?

According to Forbes’ 2016-17 NBA season report, NBA teams earned a revenue of $7.368 billion dollars.  The WNBA’s revenue is more of a mystery.  According to multiple sources NBA players receive roughly 50% of the total revenue earned while research on the WNBA has led to the thought that the players only receive roughly 25% of the total revenue earned… which is expected to be far less than the NBA’s $7.368 billion dollars.

It can be argued WNBA teams do bring in a lot less revenue than the NBA.  Average attendance is lower, ticket prices are lower, and the league does not receive close to the same amount of money in terms of sponsorship deals.  However, you also need to take into account that the WNBA has only been around for 22 seasons while the NBA has been around for 72 seasons.

If the WNBA were to adopt the NBA’s fifty percent pay policy to their athletes, they would receive substantially more money than they currently do.

As the WNBA progresses as a league and the right measures are taken to continuously promote and grow women’s basketball, in time we should see average player wages increase to a fair amount based on player performance and league revenues.

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