Caitlin Clark’s salary spotlights gender pay gap in women’s sports

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BOSTON – Few things are inevitable: death, taxes, and Caitlin Clark going first in the WNBA draft. The college basketball phenom will now make $76,000 in the first year of her WNBA contract. The figure is less money than someone paid for one of her basketball cards at the auction house PWCC. It has fans stunned.

“That’s honestly just embarrassing,” said Rachel Schladenhauffen, a college student who watched Clark throughout her Final Four run. “These women are at the top of their game. This woman beat Steph Curry’s record, so she deserves more than $76,000.”

“She made so much in college already, and now she’s getting paid like 70K?” questioned Eshaan Jalali, another college student. “I was in shock. She is the main reason why so many people will watch the WNBA.”

Front Office Sports reports Clark’s current sponsorship deals are around $3.1 million. Even Ice Cube offered her millions of dollars to play in the Big Three League.

“I think the WNBA was always my dream and where I wanted to go,” said Clark when asked about her other playing opportunities.

“It’s unbelievable that you are being offered $5 million to play in a different league by a celebrity, and you are choosing $74,000, right?” said Nicolette Aduama of Northeastern’s Sports in Society Department. “I’m assuming it’s based on where the sport is and what the WNBA can offer.”

In 2022, the NBA made a record $10 billion for the first time. Front Office Sports reported that the WNBA made just $60 million in annual media rights alone. The organization hopes to reach a new deal when its current one expires in October of next year. The league has said it wants to double that figure.

“Aren’t tickets for the Indiana Fever already, like, are selling out,” said Schladenhauffen.

“She’s like their LeBron basically. She’s insane,” added Jalali.

“We know women and men go overseas to play and are paid so much more as well, but gender pay gap is still real,” says Aduama.

Perhaps closing that pay gap is one more accolade Clark can accomplish.

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