Biden Calls Out Caitlin Clark’s Lowball WNBA Salary

Mariel Tyler/NBAE via Getty Images
Mariel Tyler/NBAE via Getty Images

Joe Biden subtly called out the WNBA for Caitlin Clark’s lowball rookie salary, writing Tuesday that “it’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve.”

That statement, posted to X, didn’t mention Clark by name, but it was clear that the budding superstar—and her measly first-year WNBA salary of $76,535—were the reason behind his comments.

Since its inception in 1996, the WNBA has never come close to having comparable salaries to that of the NBA and other top U.S. professional men’s leagues. But as word spread that even Clark wouldn’t be paid a six-figure salary in her first year, ire and disbelief quickly spread.

“Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all,” Biden said. “But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share.”

By comparison, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA draft, Victor Wembanyama, will pocket $55 million in his first four years, and already made $12.1 million in his first season alone—159 times that of Clark’s first-year salary.

Clark, who was drafted first overall on Monday, will still likely rake in millions between endorsement deals and other playing opportunities. She’s already been offered $5 million to play a season in Ice Cube’s Big3 league for a season, and will soon reap the benefits from jersey sales, which have already been flying off the (digital) shelves at Fanatics and could net her tens of thousands over the course of the next few months.

Still, Clark’s situation is a unique one in the WNBA, and most players in the league will still have to contend with significantly lower salaries and lesser in-season travel and accommodation conditions compared to their NBA counterparts.

Caitlin Clark’s Shockingly Low WNBA Base Salary Is Revealed

Much of the revenue for sports leagues in the U.S. stems from broadcast deals, and women’s basketball at the professional level has yet to catch fire like college basketball has in recent seasons.

The WNBA pulled in just $60 million in broadcast revenue last season, while the NBA boasted $2.7 billion.

That discrepancy may start closing soon, however, led by Clark’s launch into super-stardom. For the first time ever, the NCAA women’s title game drew more viewers than the men’s game did this month, averaging 18.7 million viewers on ABC and ESPN to the men’s 14.82 million.

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