WNBA Players Receive Pay Raises and Paid Maternity Leave in Historic Agreement

Photo credits: Garrett Ellwood

The union that represents the ladies of the WNBA has scored a major victory in the league’s fight for respectable pay and benefits, which are deserved by women who play professional basketball.

Good Morning America (GMA) reported on Tuesday (January 14) that a ground-breaking collective bargaining agreement between the WNBA and the WNBA Player’s Association was recently finalized. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and WNBA Players Association President Nneka Ogwumike talked more about the developments made by their league on the popular morning television talk show.

“We’re so proud of the players and their ability to unify around the important issues to them. And while they bargained hard, we came together, we collaborated, and we have what we think is a groundbreaking agreement that’s going to support these players for the long-term and the next generation of players,” said Engelbert in her GMA interview with Robin Roberts.

“We wanted to leave a legacy. I think we came in understanding that it wasn’t just about the top player. It wasn’t just about the rookies. It was about every player across the board and we were really happy to be able to come together with the WNBA with actually a lot of innovative ideas,” Ogwumike said on GMA.

Ogwumike, 29, is also a league MVP Award-winning forward for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks franchise. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all WNBA players will receive six-figure salaries, higher cash bonuses for individual performance awards, paid maternity leave, and other great benefits.

Standout WBNA players like Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Skylar Diggins, and Brittney Griner were already receiving salaries per annum, which were in excess of $100,000 dollars. Endorsement deals with sports apparel giants like Nike (and other major brands) also helped the aforementioned ladies obtain multi-millionaire status by being fantastic basketball stars.

However, hard work by Ogwumike and her fellow female athletes at the WNBA Players Association have helped open the doors for more women to earn bigger paydays; in a credible sports league made up of phenomenal athletes.