One incident set the tone for the season: in April, six months after the WNBA players pulled out of their last collective bargaining agreement and a month before the unwinding, Breanna Stewart, then Finals MVP and 2018 Seattle Storm WNBA champion, tore her Achilles tendon while playing in a European league. (Given the WNBA`s absurd salary, most players supplement their earnings by playing in leagues abroad during the offseason.) Where and when Stewart was injured is enough ammunition for a labor dispute, but the way it happened is also annoying: she jumped for a jumper and awkwardly landed on the foot of her defense attorney Brittney Griner — an experienced six-time WNBA All-Star who plays most of the year for a Russian club called UMMC Yekaterinburg. The scene plays out like a cruel twist in a fateful encounter: two women, neither of whom is in a just world, collide in the most unfortunate way. “This new agreement presents significant gains in all areas,” added Terri Jackson, WNBPA`s Executive Director. “Everything is there for our players and the league to flourish.” The N.B.A., which founded the W.N.B.A. in 1996 and shares ownership with the women`s teams, shares its revenues about 50-50 with the male players. In the W.N.B.A., it is estimated that players receive only 20-30% of the league`s revenue. If the league reaches certain revenue marks in transfer agreements, marketing partnerships, and licensing agreements by 2021, W.N.B.A. and its players could share the revenue equally.
The contract would have eight years until 2027. Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., said in a statement that the agreement “will be a roadmap for the future of the W.N.B.A. and strengthens N.B.A.`s confidence in the league`s strong growth potential.” Players from across the league, including WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike, expressed satisfaction with the new deal, while WNBA fans — from NBA stars to tennis legend Billie Jean King — hailed the move as a “step in the right direction.” Benefits for pregnancy, it was no secret that the last ABC was archaic in its language. He listed “pregnancy” as a condition (this CBA fits this line, but we`ll get to that later) and players who became pregnant during the season had only 50% of their guaranteed salary for their pregnancy leave. This is one of the areas on which the new ABC has focused: the modern woman. This is one of the first major sports collective agreements to do so in this way. Every WNBA player enters the 2020 season with a win, when it can be. (The season was scheduled for May 15, but was postponed due to COVID-19. The WNBA will host a virtual draft on April 17, which will air on ESPN`s main channel for the first time in history.) In January, the league`s players` association agreed with the WNBA on a new collective agreement (CBA) to usher in a better future for a sport that has historically set aside players` rights. In a media call, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert encouraged reporters to focus less on salary and more on possible “cash compensation,” a figure that includes performance bonuses (named in the All-Defensive First Team, for example) and revenue from marketing deals with a team or league that the WNBA hopes to allow some players to stay in the U.S. year-round.
It`s cynical but fair to imagine that these benefits will benefit the handful of stars who got it best – though still not great, of course – in the first place. The WNBA`s new collective bargaining agreement, announced last week and announced for its progressivism, follows a season in which the league`s odes to empowerment and its labor practices seemed almost comically incompatible. .