College basketball phenom Caitlin Clark’s starting salary in the WNBA has caught the eye of two Bay State congresswomen who are calling for the dismantling of the “gender pay gap.”

Clark, the highest-scoring player in NCAA history, is set to earn a base salary of $76,535 in her rookie year. Her total makings, however, are expected to be much greater through endorsements and other partnerships.
But that hasn’t prevented an equal-pay debate from spreading to Massachusetts.
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, the only former Division I woman athlete in Congress, took issue with how Clark is just making a “fraction” of what NBA rookies earn, in an X post on Thursday.
Victor Wembanyama, the first pick in last year’s draft, starred for the San Antonio Spurs in his rookie season while pocketing $12.1 million as part of a $55 million four-year contract.
“For Caitlin Clark to make only a FRACTION of what her male counterparts make is beyond outrageous,” Trahan, D-3rd District, said in her post which included a link to a Newsweek article on how Clark’s salary is lower than some NBA mascots.
“It’s 2024,” Trahan added. “The time to dismantle the gender pay gap and give women equal opportunity was years ago. Let’s get it done NOW.”
The WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement restricts how much players can earn in the league. Under the rookie scale for players drafted with the first four picks, Clark’s salary will grow to $78,066 in her second year, $85,873 the third, with a fourth-year option of $97,582.
Three players – Arike Ogunbowale, Kahleah Cooper and Jewell Loyd – are tied for the top earnings in the league at $241,984, according to salary cap tracker Spotrac.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-5th District, initially voiced frustration over the pay gaps on social media Tuesday, calling for equal pay.
“Caitlin Clark is the highest-scoring player in NCAA history,” the House Minority Whip said. “The No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. She deserves equal pay.  And so does every woman — on the court and off. It’s 2024. Enough is enough.”
Not all agree with the calls for equal pay given the differences between the NBA, a league cashing in $2.8 billion in national media deals this year, and WNBA, which makes about $65 million a year in broadcast deals.
The NBA also has an 82-game season that spans six months compared to the WNBA’s 40-game, four-month season.
“Not sure you understand the concept of equal pay,” an X user said in response to Katherine Clark’s post. “They work for two completely different employers, and have a collective bargaining agreement that dictates how much they get paid (as a democrat you should know all about unions and CBAs).
Basketball has already made Clark a millionaire as she inked more than $3 million in name, image and likeness deals in college with Nike, Gatorade, State Farm and Buick. Those partnerships are likely to carry over into her WNBA career in addition to other endorsements, a league source has said.
The remaining gap, however, doesn’t sit well with President Biden.
“Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all,” Biden said on social media Tuesday. “But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share. It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve.”
Original story HERE.