The issue of the pay gap between NBA and WNBA players has been heavily publicized over the past few weeks, as more and more WNBA players are taking offense to the paychecks they’re receiving compared to their male counterparts.
One of the loudest voices when it comes to this issue is All-WNBAer and Dallas Wings All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith, who is a heavy advocate for equal pay between genders across the entire country.
In her recent interview with Wealthsimple, Diggins-Smith brought up the issue once again, more specifically the fact that NBA players earn 50 percent of the revenue the league brings in, whereas WNBA players only earn 20 percent of league revenue.
— Wealthsimple (@Wealthsimple) August 21, 2018
“People try to hijack this issue and say that women’s basketball may not be as interesting a game, because they disparage women in sports, period,” Diggins-Smith exclaimed. “But we don’t even make the same percentage of revenue!”
— Turnt Sports News (@TurntSportsNews) August 22, 2018
Diggins-Smith also brought up how the NBA’s more mediocre talent — the ones who are mere starters and role-players, rather than All-Stars — earn more than the WNBA’s best players. Skylar compared herself to Dallas Maverick Harrison Barnes, who earned $24 million this past season compared to Diggins-Smith’s $120,000 or so.
“I’m the highest paid player on the Dallas Wings, and my salary is in the low six figures.”
“He’s definitely younger than me. Do you know his stats? Was he an All-Star? I mean, it doesn’t matter,” Diggins continued. “But last year, I was First Team All-WNBA, which only goes to five players. I was also a WNBA All-Star for the third time.”
With the WNBA’s collection bargaining agreement expiring in 2021, Diggins-Smith, among others, will be leading the change she wants to see in hopes of earning contracts closer to their male counterparts.