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Inside the WNBA's Fight for Higher Pay
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stever



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 11:24 am    ::: Inside the WNBA's Fight for Higher Pay Reply Reply with quote

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2802759-inside-the-wnbas-fight-for-higher-pay

Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours. Clarendon could have supplemented that by spending her WNBA offseasons playing overseas—many players do, and make much, much more money there than they can here—but she refused to subject herself to it after a miserable experience playing in Prague.

She felt lonely and sad and drained as each day crawled by there in 2013, the offseason after her rookie year. No friends, no family. Her back flared up as she dealt with constant spasms. The pain was so acute that she dreaded going to practice. She wasn't improving her game. She sunk into a depression. "This isn't the journey for me," she told herself. So she gave up the six-figure salary and moved back to the U.S.—back to a constant, aggravating fear of running out of money.



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Shades



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 11:55 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.



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hyperetic



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 12:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.
ClayK



Joined: 11 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 12:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

hyperetic wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.


OK, let's say she has $3,000 a month more in expenses -- $100 a day. That's $36,000, which leaves her with $56,000 a year.

She also has a Cal degree, and presumably can generate some income in her eight months' off. Let's say she makes $1,000 a month more (and I believe her year-round health care is covered). If so, she's at

$68,000 per year
Health care provided

Plus $36,000 in expenses she can write off ...



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PUmatty



Joined: 10 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 4:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


toad455



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 4:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Well there are a lot more players who are earning less than those amounts. It's easy to breakdown 1 player who has been in the league a while and climbed up the contract hierarchy but how many have trouble and bad experiences every year and who don't get paid.


Randy



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
hyperetic wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Do you know what expenses she has? You do know pro athletes incur more expenses than the average everyday person. It was in the article excerpt.
This part:
Quote:
It takes some degree of financial freedom to be a professional athlete. More than just being above the poverty line, you need to be able to eat, train, travel, work long hours.


So its not a case of comparing apples to apples.


OK, let's say she has $3,000 a month more in expenses -- $100 a day. That's $36,000, which leaves her with $56,000 a year.

She also has a Cal degree, and presumably can generate some income in her eight months' off. Let's say she makes $1,000 a month more (and I believe her year-round health care is covered). If so, she's at

$68,000 per year
Health care provided

Plus $36,000 in expenses she can write off ...


WNBA teams, at least, provide players with housing and a car if they want it, during the season, and they don't have to pay for meals, hotel, etc on the road. A lot of people are living on much less than WNBA players make in a 5 month season. A public school teacher in Georgia often starts at a salary less than the lowest paid WNBA rookie gets for example.

Most all of them have college degrees and the opportunity to get a variety of experiences either playing overseas or working during the off season. Some are interns or assistant coaches during the off-season or get more education. They can be in a position to be well prepared for life after basketball if they choose to do so.

I don't have a problem with players opting out of the CBA to get more money, but I don't buy the " just above the poverty line" argument. I am getting tired of the players negotiating in the press. Just go ahead and opt out and make the best deal you can before the 2020 season. If they go on strike I'm fine with that too.


FrozenLVFan



Joined: 08 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 5:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.


Luuuc



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: 10/29/18 6:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

FrozenLVFan wrote:
toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.

I disagree.
Players are in a far worse position IMO.
Employers want experience. They want someone who can come in and start doing the job productively. They are less likely to want someone who is 30+ years old and has no experience and has a 10 year gap since the last time they even looked at a book about their field. A degree might be worth something (in some industries … I have no idea what proportion of basketballers' degrees are practical degrees, or reputable ones, or even properly earned through legitimately passing the subjects) but being out of touch with the normal world is absolutely a handicap.

Good article btw. Thanks stever.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 9:07 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
FrozenLVFan wrote:
toad455 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?


seriously. And athletes have to bank X amount of money. Their careers don't last long and some are left looking for work once they retire from playing.


While I agree with the other points here, I find this "banking money" one to be ludicrous. Most other people don't bank enough money in the first ten years of their careers to support themselves for the rest of their lives either, and once they leave their first job, they're looking for other work too. Furthermore, players are in a better position to look for work because they've got a degree and no student loans.

I disagree.
Players are in a far worse position IMO.
Employers want experience. They want someone who can come in and start doing the job productively. They are less likely to want someone who is 30+ years old and has no experience and has a 10 year gap since the last time they even looked at a book about their field. A degree might be worth something (in some industries … I have no idea what proportion of basketballers' degrees are practical degrees, or reputable ones, or even properly earned through legitimately passing the subjects) but being out of touch with the normal world is absolutely a handicap.

Good article btw. Thanks stever.


Interesting that no one's disputed my math and still claims Clarendon is "underpaid." And if she or any player wants to get experience in another field, they can quit playing basketball and find out what it's like to live like most people.

I agree that players should negotiate for the best deal possible, and that in general owners are going to do their best to pay players (or any employees as little as possible), but please ... making $90,000 with housing for five months and year-round health care isn't exactly close to poverty.



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Randy



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 10:06 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The players who arguably "need" increased pay the most are the marginal players on the end of the bench or waiting by their phones hoping a team will call them up. They are also the ones most damaged if the league loses teams, has a work stoppage or reduces roster sizes. They may be the least heard voices in the WNBAPA - and the least likely to benefit from the upcoming negotiations.


Hawkeye



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 570
Location: Houston, TX


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PostPosted: 10/30/18 10:25 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NWSL players would love WNBA salaries. It's all a matter of perspective. Should WNBA players make more? Of course. They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do. That would mean an almost doubling of salaries...and that isn't going to happen in one fell swoop.

A phased in increase in salaries is the only way it's going to happen. Teams also need to pull their heads out and be able to market themselves out of a wet paper bag. Marketing to the LGBT community is a must. Advertising on TV during times people are watching---like day time soap operas and game shows is required. That's when people are watching and more importantly, when WOMEN are watching.

At this point in the league, if any team isn't drawing 10,000 a game, the marketing department needs to be replaced with folks who have a clue.


toad455



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.



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CamrnCrz1974



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
Shades wrote:
I didn’t read the article. Even if Clarendon decided to do no other work than the 4 months of WNBA, she supposedly earned $91,700 in 2018 (plus whatever bonuses and the benefits are unbeatable). Just a titch above the poverty line.


Perhaps read the article before commenting?



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Richyyy



Joined: 17 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 12:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hawkeye wrote:
They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do.

Why? That's a figure that works for the NBA's model, where a lot of the owners are billionaires anyway, and where the primary gain they're making year-on-year is the increasing value of the franchise (regardless of whether they're actually making a profit via ticket sales, TV rights, revenue sharing etc.). There are fixed costs involved in running a WNBA team that just don't appear to make that 50% figure viable (unless a lot of people have been doing a lot of lying for a lot of years).

I think people like that 50% figure because it sounds so 'fair'. Half to the players, half to the men in suits, and everyone's happy. But the players only negotiated that figure fairly recently, and only got there because the economics of the league showed that the owners could give that much up and still be thoroughly happy with their own situation. Just because Starbucks could pay their staff a certain overall percentage of their income and still keep their board members happy doesn't mean the mom and pop coffee shop round the corner could pay their staff the same percentage and still stay in business. There are just a hell of a lot of numbers that are wildly different.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Did Starbucks start selling barista jerseys?


CamrnCrz1974



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
They should be making 50% of basketball related revenue like the NBA players do.

Why? That's a figure that works for the NBA's model, where a lot of the owners are billionaires anyway, and where the primary gain they're making year-on-year is the increasing value of the franchise (regardless of whether they're actually making a profit via ticket sales, TV rights, revenue sharing etc.). There are fixed costs involved in running a WNBA team that just don't appear to make that 50% figure viable (unless a lot of people have been doing a lot of lying for a lot of years).

I think people like that 50% figure because it sounds so 'fair'. Half to the players, half to the men in suits, and everyone's happy. But the players only negotiated that figure fairly recently, and only got there because the economics of the league showed that the owners could give that much up and still be thoroughly happy with their own situation. Just because Starbucks could pay their staff a certain overall percentage of their income and still keep their board members happy doesn't mean the mom and pop coffee shop round the corner could pay their staff the same percentage and still stay in business. There are just a hell of a lot of numbers that are wildly different.


People forget about fixed costs.

It is easy to give a 50 percent share with filled arenas, ticket sales for over 15,000 fans per game (this year, the Kings are averaging a league-worst 15,294 fans per game -- which is still over 87 percent of arena capacity), food/concessions revenue, merchandising, etc.


MuneravenMN
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Cry me a river. Let’s talk about the smartest people instead of the most athletic.

You can work years getting a PhD in something and then you have to apply to academic jobs and, guess what, you have to go where the job is. You leave your friends and family and go to where the work is. You may have to go to the absolute stinky armpit of Amurica to get a job.

Once there you will get the equivalent of a rookie hazing only for more than one year. You will get all the worst jobs and extra work. If you are at a smaller university where professors have to take on a lot you can end up working 70 hours a week. And everyone will think you are working 12 hours a week because those are the hours you stand in a classroom.

Did I mention that a young academic would be deliriously happy to have a salary in the range of a WNBA player? These days an experienced academic would love that salary.

My point is not that WNBA players should not be paid more. My point is that we have a problem in this country that is a lot bigger than a few athletes not getting enough money. We have a very few people making way too much money and the genuine talent making too little IN ALL AREAS OF WORK.

So I struggle to feel bad for just one small segment of relatively underpaid women who are advocating only for themselves. There are very talented people all over the place right now who can barely get by. The best teachers. The best artists. The best childcare workers. On and on.

It makes it tough for me to feel bad for a basketball player when a woman who is caring for a dying grandmother is not making enough to pay the rent.



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Nixtreefan



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 1:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

So....Lets lift ALL the women up... or did I miss something.


StevenHW



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 2:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

From the article:
Quote:
[Adam] Silver says the league office is "doubling down" on the WNBA. He has brought in a consulting firm to strategize on how to grow the brand and better market its players, calling the present WNBA moment a "reboot."

"There's no one in the NBA league office or no WNBA owner right now who's saying they're giving up," Silver says.


Is Adam Silver not aware that James Dolan has been trying to sell off the New York Liberty for more than a year, without any success (so far)?



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CamrnCrz1974



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 4:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

StevenHW wrote:
From the article:
Quote:
[Adam] Silver says the league office is "doubling down" on the WNBA. He has brought in a consulting firm to strategize on how to grow the brand and better market its players, calling the present WNBA moment a "reboot."

"There's no one in the NBA league office or no WNBA owner right now who's saying they're giving up," Silver says.


Is Adam Silver not aware that James Dolan has been trying to sell off the New York Liberty for more than a year, without any success (so far)?


"Giving up," for Dolan, would be disbanding the franchise. Looking for another buyer is not "giving up" the product, but finding another buyer.


Hawkeye



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 4:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


Randy



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: 10/30/18 5:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hawkeye wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


From toad455'd thread.

Only 2 teams drew better than 10k, and only one other was close. So 9 teams should fire their marketing department......

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=94422&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=100

Quote:
RANK. TEAM(# games) - 2018 Average [+/- 2017 Average)
1. Los Angeles Sparks - 10,642 (-708)
2. Minnesota Lynx - 10,036 (-371)
3. Phoenix Mercury - 9,950 (+37)
4. Seattle Storm - 8,109 (+405)
5. Connecticut Sun - 6,569 (-159)
6. Chicago Sky - 6,358 (-225)
7. Indiana Fever - 6,311 (-1,227)
8. Washington Mystics(16*) - 6,136 (-1,635)
9. Las Vegas Aces - 5,307 (-1,079)
10. Dallas Wings - 4,752 (+880)
11. Atlanta Dream - 4,194 (-258)
12. New York Liberty - 2,823 (-7,066)
WNBA AVERAGE(203) - 6,768 (-947)
*Mystics lost a home game due to the forfeit vs. Vegas on August 3.



Hawkeye



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PostPosted: 10/30/18 9:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Kind of hard for some teams to draw 10k when their arena holds less than that.


So those 4 teams should be selling out the place then. SMH


From toad455'd thread.

Only 2 teams drew better than 10k, and only one other was close. So 9 teams should fire their marketing department......

http://boards.rebkell.net/viewtopic.php?t=94422&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=100

Quote:
RANK. TEAM(# games) - 2018 Average [+/- 2017 Average)
1. Los Angeles Sparks - 10,642 (-708)
2. Minnesota Lynx - 10,036 (-371)
3. Phoenix Mercury - 9,950 (+37)
4. Seattle Storm - 8,109 (+405)
5. Connecticut Sun - 6,569 (-159)
6. Chicago Sky - 6,358 (-225)
7. Indiana Fever - 6,311 (-1,227)
8. Washington Mystics(16*) - 6,136 (-1,635)
9. Las Vegas Aces - 5,307 (-1,079)
10. Dallas Wings - 4,752 (+880)
11. Atlanta Dream - 4,194 (-258)
12. New York Liberty - 2,823 (-7,066)
WNBA AVERAGE(203) - 6,768 (-947)
*Mystics lost a home game due to the forfeit vs. Vegas on August 3.



Yes, for teams in so-called basketball hotbeds, drawing such pitiful crowds is inexcusable. These aren't tiny markets (save for Connecticut). Getting 170,000 people to come to your games should be the starting point, not the end goal.


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