Despite there being more eyes on the game, the pay gap between the WNBA and the NBA continues to be a talking point. Skylar Diggins-Smith recently compared her value to the WNBA to Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes to justify her argument.
“I’m the highest-paid player on the Dallas Wings, and my salary is in the low six figures,” Diggins-Smith said on Wealthsimple.com. “Harrison Barnes, the highest-paid player on the Dallas Mavericks, made $24 million last season. He’s definitely younger than me. Do you know his stats? Was he an All-Star? I mean, it doesn’t matter. But last year, I was first-team All-WNBA, which only goes to five players. I was also a WNBA All-Star for the third time.”
To be completely fair, NBA’s revenue is astounding compared to the WNBA, especially after the league received a $24 billion TV deal in 2014, and became effective in 2016. Diggins understands this, but points to the league revenue distribution.
“Players in the NBA get about 50 percent of the revenue. For women, the percentage is in the twenties,” Diggins-Smith added. “So before we even talk about base salary or anything like that, we don’t even get paid the same percentage of the revenue that we bring in, which is kind of unbelievable. People try to hijack this issue and say that women’s basketball may not be as interesting a game, because they disparage women in sports, period. But we don’t even make the same percentage of revenue! And jersey sales, we don’t get any of it. The men do. And I have had a top-five jersey for three or four years in the WNBA.” – TO