The women's basketball league achieved a historic agreement that benefits the players.
Maya Moore during a basketball game. / Photo: flickr.com/Joe Bielawa / Composition: LatinAmerican Post
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
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Leer en español: WNBA: conoce los nuevos beneficios para las jugadoras
Amid discussions between the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) and the players' union, the two sides reached a first agreement, which will be in effect within the next eight years, with a possibility of increasing it for six more years.
In this way, and through a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), those involved were able to agree on the improvement of conditions of the players. According to The New York Times, one of the topics discussed was the considerable increase in the salaries of the players from US$ 117,500 to US$ 215,000, the maximum salary cap being 1.3 million dollars, a difference of US$ 303,900 compared to 2019.
In addition, one of the important issues to which an agreement was reached was the fact of increasing the cash compensation to 53 percent. The cash compensation covers the base salary, accumulated prizes, marketing offers and additional performance bonuses, which is beneficial for the best players in the league who would receive compensation of up to US$ 500,000 dollars.
A figure that almost triples that of last season and a considerable figure of what was once thought, in a league that started in 1997. Still, other players could receive between US$ 300,000 or US$ 200,000, while the other players may See an increase of US$ 130,000.
Read also: How much do women earn in different sports?
On the other hand, and one of the primary objectives for the union, was to improve the quality of life; the above having related to travel and stay. In this regard, it was agreed that the players will travel in first class, since charters flights are too expensive, and each player will have their own room in the hotel, instead of sharing. Based on the above, the president of the WNBPA executive committee, Nneka Ogwumike, said it might not mean much to some people but to the players, "Those things do impact performance. You have more comfort on flights, and with your own room you're not worried about waking your teammate or interfering with their sleep patterns", in statements given to ESPN.
Motherhood, another important point
As for the players who are already mothers and who are interested in being one, one of the most constant problems in sport is knowing what their future will be before and after pregnancy.
To solve the problem, what was done in the WNBA was that those players who entered maternity leave were guaranteed half of their salaries, now it is not only the full salary but the organization promised to create spaces for nursing mothers, while receiving an annual compensation of US$ 5,000 for child care and the guarantee of two-room apartments for female players with children, "everything makes the WNBA more standard in the industry for working mothers," according to ESPN .
Another of the important points that were discussed was the possibility of reaching an agreement for the players and the organization as such to distribute the distribution of income equally. However, in order to achieve this, the objective of growth in marketing, transmission and licensing agreements must be met. If achieved, it would be considered a milestone because last season it was awarded 20 to 30 percent and only taking into account the sale of tickets to the matches.
While it seems like a high goal, the union believes it is a more realistic one to be able to achieve the same thing that happened between the NBA players and the organization in 201, when they were able to reach an agreement and divide the revenue by halves.
There is no doubt that the points discussed in the agreement and at the time it was given, represent a key and inspiration for women who are demanding not only wage equity, but benefits for their qualities and their own merits. It also gives a clear example that reaching a salary agreement is not that difficult by listening to both parties. Without a doubt it is a great advance for women in the world of sports.