Sports Drama And The Wage Gap

The WNBA Draft has been the subject of much criticism and debate this week. The source of the uproar has been Caitlin Clark's starting salary as the number one overall pick.

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - National Championship
Getty Images

Clark will be making $76,535 in her first year. My ex's starting salary was more than that of his first year out of college as a software developer...and he's just average at his job, she excels at hers.

Her starting salary is incomparable to that of an NBA draft pick, any draft pick. The number one overall pick last year for the NBA, Victor Wembanyama, made $10,133,900 in his first year. Even the THIRTIETH overall pick made about 500% more than Clark in his first year, his starting salary was $2,011,100.

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans
Getty ImagesMaking Up The Difference

I've seen a few debates on the issue, and one post suggested that she would "make up" the difference with endorsements. Yes, she is receiving generous endorsements, but they very much do not make up the difference in the wage gap. It's rumored that she's receiving an eight-figure endorsement deal with Nike. Eight figures can be anywhere from $10,000,000 to $99,000,000.

Sure, she's getting these endorsements, but logic would dictate that Wembanyama is also receiving endorsements, right? You'd better believe it. During his first year in the NBA, he received $901,000,000 in endorsements. That's over nine times the amount of Clark's huge endorsement deal.

Women's Sports Draw Attention

Another excuse I have heard is that women's sports aren't as much fun to watch, or that fewer people watch them. Well, I beg to differ. An estimated 18.9 million viewers watched the Women's College Championship game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Iowa Hawkeyes. In contrast, the Men's College Championship game between the University of Connecticut and Purdue had 14.8 million viewers.

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - National Championship
Getty Images

The last game that Clark played in the NCAA also drew more viewers than other college sports finals. The NCAA Men's College World Series in 2023 peaked at 4.2 million viewers, and the NCAA Men's Hockey Final recorded 808,000 viewers.

Something Needs To Change

It is my personal opinion that the salaries of most male professional athletes are excessively high. There's a happy medium somewhere. Look up the salaries of NBA, NFL, and MLB players, they're extremely high.

Where To Watch Caitlin Clark

If you want to watch the GOAT in action, the WNBA season starts May 14th. You'll need to subscribe to Prime and NBA TV if you want to watch most of the games.


These 19 College Athletes Are the NIL's Highest Earners

Who is the highest-paid collegiate athlete in the NIL Era? MoneyInc took to a variety of sources to determine each athlete's earnings and net worth, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Athletic Director UESPNUKnight-Newhouse College Athletics Database as well as news and industry sites like The BoardroomAssociated Press, and Reuters.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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