Basketball champion Skylar Diggins and several other players have been extremely vocal about the pay discrepancies between WNBA players and the NBA. This week, Wealthsimple published a piece penned by Diggins where she called out the National Basketball Association for the pay disparity.
“Players in the NBA get about 50% of the revenue,” she wrote. “For women, the percentage is in the twenties. So before we even talk about base salary or anything like that, we don’t even get paid the same percentage of the revenue that we bring in, which is kind of unbelievable. 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. But we don’t even make the same percentage of revenue! And jersey sales…we don’t get any of it. The men do. And I have had a top-five jersey for three or four years in the WNBA.”
Diggins continued: “I’m the highest paid player on the Dallas Wings, and my salary is in the low six figures. [Harrison Barnes, the highest paid player on the Dallas Mavericks, made $24 million last season.] He’s definitely younger than me. Do you know his stats? Was he an All-Star? I mean, it doesn’t matter. 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.”
In the article, Diggins also addressed WNBA players being subjected to poor travel and accommodations during the season, claiming many players have to head overseas to make a fair wage.
Diggins, who is a top player in the league, admits that she makes more money from endorsements than from playing and attributes her opportunities to the sports management division at Roc Nation Sports.
The average salary for a WNBA player is just $79,000 with a maximum salary of $115,000 for those who have been in the league six years. An entry-level NBA referee earns $150,000.