Even Biden is shocked: Caitlin Clark’s salary will be 0.7% of her male equivalent | Basketball | Sports

Caitlin Clark continues to break records. The women’s college basketball star was chosen this Monday as the number one pick in the draft. The broadcast was watched by 2.4 million people, 300% more than the previous mark, set in 2004. The Indiana Fever, their new team, have already sold out for the entire season a month before the initial jump. The player is called to revolutionize the WNBA, the women’s professional league. Her arrival has raised expectations comparable to that of Frenchman Victor Wembanyama a year ago. But while Wembanyama has had a salary of 12 million dollars (about 11.3 million euros) in his first year, Clark will have a base salary of only 76,500 dollars. Even the president of the United States, Joe Biden, is scandalized.

“Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all. But now we see that, even if they are the best, women are not paid what they are entitled to,” Biden tweeted this Tuesday from his official account. “It’s time we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and make sure women get paid what they deserve,” she added.

The 350-page WNBA collective bargaining agreement establishes the base salary for players joining the league. For the first four selected in the draft, the best in their promotion, the salary is $76,535 the first year; $78,066 the second year; $85,873 in the third year and, if the club decides to exercise that option, $97,582 in the fourth year. That is, $338,056 in four seasons.

On the other hand, the men’s basketball league agreement establishes a base salary for the 2024-2025 season for the first pick in the draft of $10,504,800, which rises to $11 million in the second year and $11.5 million in the third. . That is, whoever is elected will receive a salary in two weeks, the same as Caitlin Clark in four years. The salary of the female star is 0.7% of that of her male counterpart.

In the NBA, this base salary can fluctuate 20% up or down depending on the player in question. In the case of Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs exhausted the margin and signed him to a contract worth $55 million for his first four seasons, about 160 times Clark’s reference price.

It is true that the new Indiana player can increase her compensation if she becomes a WNBA ambassador, so she could earn an additional $250,000. In prizes and marketing agreements with her own team it could add $100,000 more. Even so, the difference is still enormous.

“These ladies deserve so much more… Praying for the day to come,” tweeted Russell Wilson, the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team in the NFL, the American football league. “This is scandalous,” actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on Instagram.

When Clark’s salary was revealed, social networks were filled with anonymous messages of indignation and also with memes that called attention to the absurdity of someone who generates that expectation and moves the masses to have such a vulgar salary.

A mural by artist Kwazar Martin with the image of Caitlin Clark on the west side of Indianapolis.Michael Conroy (AP)

In university sports there are rules to maintain equality between the sexes and in some sports such as soccer, female players have achieved equal pay for national teams. In professional sports, however, each competition imposes its rules. Clark comes to a 12-team league whose broadcast rights have local interest and generate only about $60 million annually. The NBA, which has become a global competition, has 30 teams and generates more than $2.5 billion a year in television rights, in addition to other income from box office, jersey sales, sponsorships and other products.

However, the traditional arguments about the business generated by male and female athletes break down in the case of Caitlin Clark. The final of the university championship (NCAA) on April 7 shattered viewership records for women’s basketball. It had an average of 18.9 million viewers, with peaks of 24 million, almost quadruple that of the final two years ago, before the Caitlin Clark phenomenon broke out.

Not only did it surpass the 14.8 million of the men’s final, but it was the most watched basketball game in the United States of the last five years, even surpassing the NBA finals (and, of course, any game in Wembanyama). And it became the second most watched women’s sporting event in history in the United States, excluding the Olympic Games.

Despite this, the television stations paid 6.5 million dollars for the rights to the women’s university tournament and 873 million dollars for the men’s tournament, according to data from The Wall Street Journal. The market doesn’t seem to have worked very well in that case either.

Of course, Clark’s income will be much higher thanks to advertising and sponsorship contracts. Brands rave about it, given its popularity, its young, carefree and happy image. She is showered with contracts: she lends her image to the State Farm insurance company, the Nike sports brand, Gatorade drinks and Hy-Vee supermarkets, among other brands. It is estimated that her income will be around three million dollars annually.

T-shirts commemorating Caitlin Clark’s signing for the Indiana Fever in an Indianapolis store.Michael Conroy (AP)

In Indiana, it has unleashed a fever of ticket and T-shirt sales, but it also has merchants excited. “Caitlin Clark’s impact as an Indiana Fever player will almost certainly have a ripple effect on downtown businesses and our neighborhood playgrounds,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett tweeted after the draft. of Monday.

The low salaries of women’s basketball explain why Brittney Griner and other stars of the competition sought a bonus by playing in Europe during the WNBA’s inactive months. Griner was sentenced in August 2022 to nine years in prison for drug trafficking after being detained months earlier by police at an airport near Moscow with cannabis cartridges in her possession that she carried for personal use. She was released in December 2022 in a prisoner exchange.

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2024-04-17 08:01:40
#Biden #shocked #Caitlin #Clarks #salary #male #equivalent #Basketball #Sports


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