The WNBA's A'ja Wilson Calls Out Basketball's Wage Gap After LeBron James Receives $154 Million Lakers Deal

She has a point.

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| July 09 2018,

8:53 pm

A debate popped off when WNBA player A'ja Wilson pointed out the wage gap in professional basketball.

The hoopla started when Wilson, who plays for the Las Vegas Aces, shared her thoughts on Lebron James' contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, noting the stark difference between NBA and WNBA contracts.

“154 million. Must be nice. We over here looking for a million, but Lord let me get back in my lane," Wilson wrote. "And I love Bron not taking nothing away from him."




Her tweets sent basketball fans into a tizzy.

Despite her proclaiming her love for Bron, some folks got in their feelings. Fans trying to justify the wage gap came out in force, with some even questioning WNBA players' skills.








Despite the loud and plentiful critics, some folks got Wilson's point:






Regardless of what Twitter thinks, Wilson might be on to something. 

"Let's be clear, there is a lot of sexism that still goes on," WNBA president Lisa Borders told Forbes recently. " People do not believe that women can be superb professional athletes. That frankly is an ignorant perspective, but if you haven't had the opportunity to see a game, a player or experienced the game, then perhaps you have an uninformed perspective. We invite folks into the area to actually see a game."

According to CNBC, WNBA players only earn 20 percent of an NBA player's salary and a WNBA player's salary cap is $110,000. The starting salary for an NBA player is $565,000.

In most fields, having a college degree will ensure you receive a higher salary than someone without a degree. But not in professional basketball. 

Due to a rule that WNBA players must have four years of post-high school education to play in the league, the WNBA has far more players with college degrees than the NBA. Having a degree has come in handy for some WNBA players who have used their education to build side hustles. However, not all WNBA players have been able to achieve success in side businesses.  

Borders said the rule exists to ensure WNBA athletes have something to fall back on.

“When you look at professional athleticism, it doesn’t have an evergreen shelf life. The average time a woman plays professional basketball is five years. These programs are to ensure that our women are fully armed to be successful not only as professional athletes, but in life,” Borders said. “Our women are very prudent when it comes to planning for the future. There are many of them who are doing things beyond the court, which will make the transition smooth into a traditional corporate environment or entrepreneurial work.”

It looks like we all need to start better supporting the WNBA.

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