Athletes will also soon experience travel upgrades like proper hotel accommodations during road games
By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from WNBA/Twitter
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entails a salary increase for the athletes along with enhanced travel and family benefits.
— WNBA (@WNBA) January 14, 2020
The new CBA states that the players’ maximum salary will increase from $115,000 up to $500,000 including base salary, bonuses, and prizes from in-season competitions. The average compensation will increase to nearly $130,000, making this the first time the WNBA’s average salary will be up to six figures.
Moreover, there will be a 50-50 split on revenues between the players and the league starting 2021. Players will also have the option to enter free agency as unrestricted free agents and there will be a limit to how many times they will be receiving the “core” designation rule—three times in 2020 and 2021 and just twice by 2022 and beyond.
BREAKING: @CathyEngelbert from the @WNBA announces a new landmark deal for female athletes. “We’re hoping to lift, not just women in sports and women in basketball, but women in society.”@RobinRoberts@Nnemkadi30 https://t.co/n0zPNGp6Sz pic.twitter.com/V6eBw2wH3S
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 14, 2020
Athletes will also soon experience a travel upgrade during road games as each player in the team will be allotted premium economy class seats and individual hotel rooms.
Aside from transportation, players will also be entitled to the following benefits:
- Mental health and domestic violence education and programs
- Full salary when an athlete goes on maternity leave
- Childcare allowance of $5,000 annually
- Two-bedroom apartments for athletes with kids
- $60,000 reimbursement for veteran athletes who will undergo adoption, surrogacy, oocyte, cryopreservation, or fertility/infertility treatment
- Post-retirement programs and off-season jobs opportunities
What does this all mean?
The new WNBA CBA is a huge turning point for women’s basketball especially since it now provides what athletes truly need—bigger payouts and personal benefits during and after the season. With the increase in salary, upgrade on travel accommodations, and prioritization of maternity related programs and retirement plans, suffice it to say that this is a step towards progress and advancement for women in sports.
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