The inequalities in America: WNBA vs. NBA

It’s become societies goal for men and women to be equal in every way, but there hasn’t been any talk regarding women’s sports in comparison to men’s. Specifically the WNBA versus the NBA.

There’s a major decline in viewership between the two, along with advertisements. How often do you see a WNBA game on national television? A couple times a week more than likely, when during the season, you’ll see an NBA game every night, no doubt. It’s clear that there aren’t quite as many highlights in the women’s basketball, because it’s more of a fundamental game, and there are only a few players that have dunked during one. That shouldn’t mean a thing, though.

You’re telling me that ‘good’ basketball can’t sell? As much as I adore the game, and especially the NBA, I find this rather disturbing. The WNBA features great shooting, improved defense, and the players seem to have more of a commitment to the city they play for. You don’t find that as regularly in the NBA.

For example, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving. A player that shot 44.8 percent from the field in 2015-2016, and 32.1 percent from three, also considered one of the elite guards in the NBA and rightfully so. But then you have Minnesota’s Maya Moore that’s shooting 45.5 percent from the field in 2016, and 36.9 percent from three. Not saying she’s leaps and bounds more efficient than Kyrie, but she’s at least equal to him. Many women in the WNBA can out-shoot many premier NBA players. The best three-point shooter in the NBA this season was J.J. Reddick, who shot 47.5 percent, but the best three-point shooter in the WNBA this season is Kristi Tolliver thus far, shooting 48.7 percent. You can make the argument that the NBA’s three-point line is further out, but pound-for-pound, the players are equally as talented.

The list of inequalities between men and women are so long that I can’t even list them all, but men in sports get more publicity and as a result of that, they get more endorsements. With endorsements, obviously comes more money.

When a player gets drafted into the NBA, often times there will be newfound family members, popping out of the woodworks, trying to get in on a little bit of the benefits of having a relative in the league. When a player gets drafted into the WNBA, family members are often times called on for help financially.

The WNBA forbids disclosing player salaries to the public, which is weird, isn’t it? It’s been said that the average player in the WNBA makes $72,000, and the minimum salary is $37,950. The maximum amount that the very best player can make is $107,000.

The lowest paid player on the Oklahoma City Thunder is Nazr Mohammad, who makes $222,888…a player that averages 1.6 points and 0.8 blocks per game. The highest paid player in the NBA during the 2015-2016 season was an old Kobe Bryant, barring retirement, who made $25,000,000 because of his guaranteed contract.

WNBA Bonuses

  • WNBA Champion – $10,500 per player
  • Championship Runner-up – $5,250 per player
  • Eliminated in semifinals – $2,625 per player
  • Eliminated in quarterfinals – $1,050 per player
  • Most Valuable Player Award – $15,000
  • All-WNBA First Team Award – $10,000 per player
  • All-WNBA Second Team Award – $5,000 per player
  • Defensive Player Award – $5,000
  • Sportsmanship Award – $5,000
  • Rookie of the Year Award – $5,000
  • Most Improved Player Award – $5,000

These are the type of inequalities that need more attention. Yes, the NBA plays 82 games, when the WNBA only plays 34, but the numbers still don’t add up. Although things have changed drastically in the way of equality, there are still major discrepancies that need to be addressed. It would be great to see the WNBA play more games, and it would be nice to see WNBA players regularly advertised on television.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

12 thoughts on “The inequalities in America: WNBA vs. NBA

  1. It would be great to see wnba players regularly advertised on tv. I don’t think so. Advertisement is meant to appeal to the masses. Attendance, revenue and sport popularity states wnba players, heck- the league itself, isn’t desired by the masses.

    I suppose it WOULD be nice if a technically sound game was appealing. But it’s not. We like dunks, home runs and knockouts. We don’t care much for excellence in passing, setting screens and shooting technique.

    Women’s basketball is not an appealing sport to the masses. Check attendance at high school and college games. With the exception of UCONN, there is a massive disparity between men’s and women’s games. In many places, women’s games are free- and people still don’t go.

  2. Sorry. I agree that the women’s college game is ho-hum compared to the men’s. But the good teams (my Storm) in the WNBA are very entertaining because they (1) shoot 3’s better than the NBA, (2) shoot foul-shots better than the NBA, and (3) play a “cleaner” game than the men with crisp passing and dynamite player movement that is not obliterated by the men’s crashing, intentional fouls that belong on a football field. To hell with dunks!! The women’s game is beautiful!

  3. Stephen curry best 3 point shooter of all time. Klay Thompson 14 threes in one game, only 25 dunks have been recorded in wnba history, LeBron James has dunked at the minimum of 1,000 times, the record for points scored in a wnba game is 53. the record for points scored in a nba game is 100. what are u trying to say here?

  4. also nba clearly more athletic and faster then wnba, and are trying to deny Steve Nash and Jason Williams as the two best passers in nba history

  5. ALSO the wnba only makes 60 million a year so it is impossible for them to get $100,000,000 contracts

  6. One of your key arguments is 3-point percentage, you do realize the NBA 3-point line is a whole 4 feet further from the hoop right?

    1. Thank you for reading! It’s not quite a 4-foot difference, but also men are generally stronger than women.

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