Caitlin Clark comments on WNBA’s new charter flights program

One of the most overdue changes is finally coming to the WNBA. The league’s commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced that the league plans to start their charter flights program.

For years now, the WNBA players have had to endure the usual struggles that we all go through with commercial flights. Cramped seating, long layovers, and early mornings were the standard for these world-class athletes. The process has caused a ton of wear and tear on the athletes throughout the season, athletes who were punished for even chartering flights.

It’s a new era in the WNBA, the Caitlin Clark era. With the influx of talent and interest in the sport, the league is in investing in their talent. Engelbert said that the league will launch the program “as soon as we can get planes in places.” The venture will cost the WNBA around $25 million per season.

Clark, the Indiana Fever’s new superstar and the recent No. 1 overall draft pick, commented on the move by the WNBA.

“I’m thankful at whatever point that happens, that would be great for us. It will make recovery easier, it will make travel easier. It just makes life a lot easier for a lot of people, but also it’s just something a lot of people have deserved for years and years,” Clark said.

A few weeks prior, Engelbert stated that the league allocated $3 million to fund charter flights for back-to-back games and playoffs, but stopped short of fully funding charter flights for the season. Since then, stories have gone viral showing players like Caitlin Clark waiting for their bags at the commercial carousel in Dallas. Players have long complained about the travel, citing player safety concerns.

For the league, this is the right play. It should have been done before, because the WNBA didn’t just suddenly have an influx of money, but now is the time to have charter flights.

They have a star in the making in Cailtin Clark who they are investing heavily in. As more and more fans tune into the WNBA and become Clark fans and fans of the league in general, they certainly aren’t going to want to see their favorite players waiting for their baggage at the airport next to them. If the league truly wants legitimacy, then this is a great first step.

“Our league is growing, the demand for women’s basketball is growing,” Women’s National Basketball Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike said. “That means more eyes on us, which is what we want, but that means more protection from the organization that we play for, the whole W that we play for.

“Chartering flights not only is a safety measure, the biggest thing, and then obviously what it means to be able to play a game and go home and rest and recover and be the elite athletes that we try to be every single night when we step out onto this court. It’s a great day for our league as a whole that we are able to get here and we’re going to continue to grow and continue to build and continue to push for even better.”

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire