Last November, the WNBA players made the collective decision to opted out of their CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement two years early. It was initially supposed to run through the 2021 season.
“We believe in women, we believe in the WNBA, we believe in the WNBPA, and we believe that wherever the finish line is for this movement that we’re a part of —we’re just not there yet,” WNBA Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike wrote in an essay on The Players Tribune. “We’re opting out because women’s basketball’s potential is infinite. We’re opting out because there’s still a lot more work to be done. And we’re betting on ourselves to do it.”
At the time, the WNBA responded with the following statement:
“We were informed today that the Women’s National Basketball Players Association has opted out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement following the 2019 season. The league and its teams are committed to an open and good-faith negotiation that is rooted in the financial realities of our business. We are getting to work immediately and are confident such a process can lead to a fair deal for all involved.”
What are the players looking for in the next agreement
During the 2018-2019 season, numerous players spoke out about better play and travel. In 2018, the maximum salary for veteran players was 115,500, and according to SBNation.com, that increases by 2,000 every year.
WNBA players are not asking for the same salaries that their male counterparts in the NBA. They want more of the market share in a recently deleted tweet. Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum shared they are only making 20 percent of the league’s marketing share. The NBA is receiving 50 percent of the market share.
Dallas Wings’ guard Skylar Diggins-Smith talked about the travel conditions before the WNBA 2018 All-Star break.
Later that year, the travel conditions caused the Las Vegas Aces to cancel their game against the Washington Mystics due to a 24-hour trip and did arrive in D.C. until two hours before tip-off.
On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby, they showed the difference between the way the Pacers and Fever travel.
“So, I was very outspoken as a player and I think that is one of the reasons I am able to do this job on a daily basis — to talk about politics, fashion, and culture. So, if you heard me say certain things for decades I apologize. Like the NCAA and how they treat their players, this is a version of that to me, said former forward Jalen Rose.
It discusses me, so very much and embracing for everyone involved. It is one thing for the players to endure this its another thing for owners of teams. To be a league that allows this to happen. They don’t play all year, they play in the summer that is when the NBA isn’t playing. It is a subsidiary of the NBA, and I know there are going to be people that say if you look at their stands they are not selling out,” Rose said. “That is not the point if you build it, they will come if you treat the product like that that doesn’t make it attractive to the average fan. It is embracing and I hope they have what it takes to strike.”
Two years ago, Mercury center Brittney Griner aired her frustration “We should get paid more,” Griner told me.
“That is somebody else’s job, but we should definitely get paid more there is no reason why we should have to go overseas to make a living.”