Sue Bird y LeBron James: same champonships, abismal diferencia salarial

After the WNBA player won her fourth championship with the Seattle Storm and LeBron did the same with the Lakers, the debate raged about what each wins by achieving the ultimate goal in their category.

Peninsula 360 Press.

Women's world sport has taken dyes of justice from the voice of some of its protagonists. An example of this is that in the summer of 2019 the player and captain of the United States Soccer Team, Megan Rapinoe, criticized FIFA for scheduling the final of the women's World Cup and the men's America's Cup and Gold Cup at the same time, arguing that it would be unthinkable to do so in the highest male scenarios, now the debate is about the abysmal salary difference between Sue Bird, Rapinoe's love partner, and LeBron James, basketball superstars.

Just a week ago, Bird and James were crowned champions of the WNBA and NBA respectively. In doing so, both added their fourth championship ring in their careers and, although the sporting figures are the same, the checks handed out by the Association do not weigh the same.

While the Los Angeles Lakers veteran accumulated 37 million dollars this season for delivering the seventeenth title to the gold and purple franchise, the all-time leader in assists in the women's league earned 215 thousand dollars despite also being champion.

It is not only about salaries. It is estimated that James, for commanding the championship as the main piece of the Angelino team, received a prize of approximately 370 thousand dollars, compared to the 11,356 of his counterpart. 

The main reasons for basketball players to earn more money than women is based on the alleged commercial agreements of each league and, therefore, on the income that each league maintains. On the other hand, the streaming platform created by the League to broadcast NBA games costs approximately US$152.36 per year, while the same, but for the women's division, costs US$5.

Salaries were even lower before this season. In January, the players protested to demand improvements in the economic income of each one of them and, although they did not ask to be paid what the male superstars pocket, they did ask for an equitable distribution of income, with which they reformed the collective bargaining agreement for the next nine years, the highest paid players will be able to earn more than 500 thousand dollars, that is, more than triple what they earned just last season.

Despite a nine-year, $24 billion contract for broadcasting rights for both leagues since 2015, most of the money goes to the men's campaigns, which also attract the attention of major sponsors, fans and the purchase of jerseys, as well as specialized footwear.

The main players on the WNBA court have raised their voices. The push to improve conditions and make visible to the world the wage inequality derived from gender every day brings to the table the debate on how work is evaluated in an industry that moves hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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