Caitlin Clark after being selected by the Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft. Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after she is selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night was a big night for the WNBA. The 2024 WNBA Draft took place and all eyes were on Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and the other talented players selected.

However, attention quickly turned to salaries and the lack of pay for women’s basketball players. It was revealed that although Caitlin Clark will make about $300,000 a year, the average salary for most WNBA rookies is less than $100,000. Compare that to what NBA rookies make on average and you can see the problem.

While most NBA rookies and players make millions, WNBA players make the taxes that are taken out of the men’s salary.

Women in sports have been fighting for years to receive equal pay in the field, and this goes back as far as Billie Jean King, who started the fight for women in tennis to get equal pay as men. The men would get paid far more money for winning majors than the women.

Venus and Serena Williams picked up the torch for equality and fought hard for women in their sport to get equal pay. Serena talked about this issue two years ago and how it takes time for changes like this to take place.

“You just can’t expect things to change overnight,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said. Williams, also pointed out that those attitudes are changing, especially when it comes to equal pay.

“I like that people are starting to recognize that women do deserve equal pay and they deserve the same that a male gets,” she said.

It took many years, but finally, all four tennis majors play men and women equally as of 2007. Wimbledon was the last major to do this.

Williams has said recently that she’d like to own a WNBA franchise.

“I absolutely would be (interested). With the right market, I would definitely be super-interested in that,” she said. People have forgotten that the reason why Brittney Griner was in Russia a few years ago when she was arrested, was to play basketball and earn more money.

Many of the biggest stars in the league have to go overseas in the off-season to make money. How many NBA players have you seen have to do that while also playing in the league?

Brittney Griner was dragged through the mud by many because of her arrest in Russia, but she was there to supplement her WNBA income.

With growing interest in the women’s game, especially on the college level, it’s time for a change.

Angel Reese was probably making more money as a college student than she will as a professional, which is a shame. Hopefully, women like her and Clark will speak out on equality. If for no other reason, so they won’t be in a situation where they have to go overseas to earn extra money.

NBA stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry can help too by speaking up for women and being the male voice of reason on this topic. Before his death, the late Kobe Bryant advocated for women’s sports. You have to wonder, had he lived, would he be on the front lines of this issue along with others?

It would be nice to see someone else pick up where Kobe left off and fight for equal pay for WNBA players.

{CBS News, USA Today)

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.