Is the NBA vs. WNBA Pay Gap Justified?


For a long time, people have debated whether or not NBA and WNBA players should get paid the same amount of money. The huge gap in pay has raised many questions as to why both leagues do not get paid the same. They are both professional basketball players, and they both play on TV. Why should both leagues not get compensated equally?


An NBA player, on average, will make about 7.5 million dollars per year, while the average WNBA player makes just over 128,000 a year. This means that, on average, the men make almost 60 times what the women make. To an outsider looking in, this may seem unfair. However, I believe that this is fair. One thing that leads me to believe this is the amount of people that watch each league. For example, the average NBA attendance in 2019 was 17,760 people per game. On the other hand, the WNBA averaged just 6,535 people at each game. On top of this, the NBA averaged 2 million TV viewers each game. Versus the WNBA, which averaged just 246,000 TV viewers per game. These statistics are proof that the WNBA just doesn’t draw the same crowd as the NBA does.


Another reason that the WNBA players do not get paid equally to the NBA players is because the WNBA does not even come close to matching the revenue that the NBA does. If the WNBA does not make very much money, they simply cannot afford to pay their players more. The average NBA’s annual revenue is about 7.92 billion dollars. The WNBA’s annual revenue is about 60 million dollars. This means that the NBA brings in over 1,320 times the amount of money that the WNBA does! In my opinion, this is largely due to the fact that the NBA simply has better overall athletes. For example, dunking is a very entertaining part of the game. Would you rather see someone lightly lay the ball up into the hoop, or would you rather watch them violently slam the ball into the hoop? To me, this is a simple question. The average NBA game has about 6.5 dunks per game. The WNBA has only had 28 dunks in the history of its existence. Only seven players in the WNBA have managed to dunk a ball in a game. This means that the USA has had more people walk on the moon than women dunk in a WNBA game! Judging by this, I would say that it is fair that the men get paid more money than the women.


The WNBA not only does not generate enough money; they actually lose money every year. Not once in the history of the WNBA have they turned a profit. The league loses approximately another 10 million dollars every year of its existence. As said before, the annual revenue for the WNBA is about 60 million dollars. Unfortunately, the league also costs about 70 million dollars a year to run. This is where the 10 million dollar gap comes from. As you might guess, no organization can stay afloat while losing that much money each year. To overcome this gap, the WNBA is actively subsidized by the NBA. The NBA gives about 12 million dollars each year to the WNBA to make sure that they don’t go under.


All of these reasons help me to draw the conclusion that the women in the WNBA should not get paid the same amount of money as the men in the NBA. If the WNBA can’t even afford to stay in business on their own, how can the players demand more money? It is an impossible request. The men bring more money into the league and they are more entertaining for viewers to watch. Therefore, they get paid more.