WNBA’S A’ja Wilson Wants to Know Why Female Players Aren’t Paid Like LeBron James ‘Must Be Nice’

A’ja Wilson, who plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, sparked what some might consider an interesting conversation on Twitter.

It started when Wilson commented about LeBron James’ new contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, worth $154 million for four years.

“154 million. Must be nice,” wrote Wilson. “We over here looking for a million but Lord, let me get back in my lane.”

One person then posted a GIF of a female basketball player shooting a layup, instead of dunking like LeBron or another NBA player. The post appears to suggest that female hoopers don’t receive equal pay because they’re not as skilled or don’t wow the fans as much. In fact, many others on Twitter shared that same opinion.

“Maybe if you were 1/1,000,000th of the basketball Lebron is, you’d get paid equally,” someone wrote, which Wilson replied to.

“Ohh, it’s about skill set?” she asked. “Because I heard a bench player gets paid more than …nvm.”

Wilson isn’t the first to bring up the salary gap between players in the NBA and WNBA, the Los Angeles Spark’s Nneka Ogwumike talked about it as well.

According to Ogwumike, as recently as 2017, she had to play in Russia during the off-season to make ends meet. She also said a lot of women in the WNBA have to take on side jobs or run their own businesses to earn extra cash.

Moreover, Ogwumike didn’t own a home or car as of last year, even though she was the No. 1 draft pick in 2012. On the NBA side, Anthony Davis was the No. 1 Draft pick in 2012, and he signed a reported 5-year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans for over $121 million.

But as Wilson stated in her tweet, a man doesn’t have to be the best player or go high in the draft to make more than female players.

According to CNBC, as of 2017, the average salary in the WNBA began at $50,000 and capped off at $110,000. Meanwhile, NBA salaries started at $560,000, which make women players earn merely 20% of their male counterparts.

Wilson didn’t get deep into percentages when she tweeted, but she did bring up revenue and how much she and other players received from the league. 

“We get less than 30% revenue versus [what] the guys get, 50%,” she revealed.

Wilson’s response only caused more debate.

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