WNBPA makes strong statements regarding salaries versus endorsements

It seems increasingly likely that the WNBA players will opt out of their current CBA at the end of the 2024 season. The WNBA and the Players Association each have the option, exercisable by providing written notice on or before Nov. 1, 2024, to terminate the CBA effective on Oct. 31, 2025, or, if later, on the day following the final playoff game of the 2025 season.

From veteran player Breanna Stewart recently revealing in a new documentary about the WNBA that she wanted to opt out of the current CBA to the most recent statement from the Players’ Association, something is definitely brewing.

The WNBPA recently took to social media to clarify a few things regarding the 2020 CBA, which runs through 2027:

  • As good as the 2020 CBA is, player SALARIES have always been an issue. They didn’t just become an issue now.

This seems to point to the recent interest by outside parties regarding the low W salary. When Iowa phenom Caitlin Clark was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2024 WNBA draft, everyone seemed shocked about her rookie salary. Players found this shock laughable since the salaries and everything related to compensation have always been public information and easily accessible. They have always advocated for higher salaries and a bigger portion of revenue split, among other areas of the basketball business.

  • The league’s talking point that a WNBA player can make up to $700k blurs the line between salary and additional compensation (bonuses/marketing agreements). Think about it, to come close there can only be ONE player and that ONE player MUST be perfect and have a perfect season.

A compensation package is made up of many parts, but benefits such as bonuses are not always guaranteed, like a salary. While it is true the current CBA reflected a 53% increase in total cash compensation for players, which consists of base salary, additional performance bonuses, prize pools for newly created in-season competitions and league and team marketing deals, that is not a 53% increase in salary.

  • And in the latest iteration of its talking point, the league now wants to take credit and count the NIL deals of this INCOMING rookie class. Endorsements are not salary.

The players finished the post with a powerful statement: “Pay EQUITY means equitable pay for The 144+, not just the top players. We cannot permit an employer to disparage employees who seek a stable financial foundation through fair pay.”

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire