the gender pay gap

People Are Stunned At NCAA Basketball Player Caitlin Clark’s Rookie WNBA Salary

“Caitlin Clark’s getting robbed.”

Despite being arguably the best collegiate basketball player, Caitlin Clar's rookie season salary is...
Icon Sportswire/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images, thespundotcom / TikTok

NCCA Women’s basketball phenom Caitlin Clark announced via X that she will declare for the WNBA Draft, forgoing the fifth year of eligibility with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes she was entitled to due to COVID season.

It’s almost guaranteed Clark will be the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft in April. During the last Hawkeyes’ regular-season game, she broke the all-time scoring record in both the men’s and women’s games at the NCAA Division I level by surpassing Pete Maravich.

She made history, and she will surely do it again in the WNBA.

Despite being arguably the best collegiate basketball player possibly ever, Clark’s base rookie season salary will be $76,535.

To put things in perspective, the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick in the 2023 draft, Victor Wembanyama, had a starting rookie salary of $12.2 million.

According to Forbes, Wembanyama had the highest rookie contract in NBA history.

For anyone not living under a rock, it’s well-known that the WBNA does not make nearly as much money as the NBA as far as advertisers, investors, and ticket sales go. That is a no-brainer.

And it’s also a no-brainer as to why there is far less interest in a women’s sport than a man’s sport — the ever-lovely patriarchal society that we feed into and live in every single day of our lives! This is especially true when it comes to women’s sports.

If you take a gander into a comments section on a video of Clark, you’ll see comment after comment from tiny little men who think they could beat her in a game of one-on-one. It’s truly sad and laughable.

One TikTok user expressed frustration with Clark’s low salary compared to other professional athletes.

“I just found out how much money Caitlin Clark is going to make on her WNBA rookie contract. It is absolutely insane how low it is. I honestly can’t believe it,” @thespundotcom said in the video before recognizing that he knows how much smaller the WNBA’s budget is compared to the NBA.

“You’re telling me that one of the most famous athletes in America is going to be making 30,000 less dollars than some account executive at ad agency in New York City?” he asked.

“Her jersey sales alone are going to be way more than 10 times her yearly salary. It’s not even close. And I just looked it up: WNBA players do get a percentage of jersey sales, but it is way less of a percentage than NBA players get,” he said.


He continued: “Caitlin Clark’s getting robbed. And yes, of course, she’s going to have endorsements that pay her a lot of money, and she’ll probably be rich. I’m not saying Caitlin Clark’s going to be broke, but she’s going to be making way more than $76,000 for this WNBA team. She’s going to make millions for the WNBA and she’s getting $76,000 next year.”

I guess all we can hope is that Clark’s popularity will lead to an overall increase in sales and viewership for the WNBA so Clark can help pave the way for more women athletes who deserve their fair share.