Story at a glance
- NBA player Draymond Green said WNBA players needed to do more than “just complaining” about unequal pay.
- The men’s basketball player tagged several major WNBA players ahead of his comments on Twitter.
- Several female athletes, including soccer player Megan Rapinoe, responded that they had been doing more — and that Green needed to as well.
Draymond Green isn’t going to participate in any of the PSAs he’s been asked to do about women’s empowerment, he said on Twitter, calling it “hypocritical.” But the Golden State Warriors player would “love to help drive these discussions,” if only the WNBA would make more money.
Green tagged several of the WNBA’s biggest names, including Candace Parker, Brittney Griner and Sue Bird, before launching into a series of tweets about the pay gap between female and male athletes because of "the revenue not being high enough to cover bigger salaries."
I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about the pay gap between women and men. Especially in sports. It’s not even close. But let’s stop allowing y’all complaints to fall on deaf ears due to numbers. As long as y’all make the argument about pay, while the revenue stays the same...— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) March 27, 2021
The athletes responded: Nneka Ogwumike calling Green’s comments “a lot of miseducation and ignorance” and inviting him to continue the discussion “offline,” while Bird said, “you got the problem right, you just tagged the wrong people.”
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@Money23Green read ur “thread” (@Jack help! ) The things ur saying are the EXACT things we’ve been fighting for. We don’t ask for NBA money, we point out the discrepancy to highlight the lack of investment & coverage. You got the problem right, you just tagged the wrong ppl https://t.co/H5wc706BfE— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) March 29, 2021
“I think what I’m feeling is a lot of miseducation and ignorance...I do appreciate Draymond coming out and using his platform to talk about it. I would like to take it a step further...and continue the discussions, even if they’re offline.” @Nnemkadi30 on @Money23Green comments. pic.twitter.com/y0nIXubKyi— Khristina Williams (Founder, Girls Talk Sports TV) (@Khristina2334) April 1, 2021
Green doubled down, telling KRON4 News that the players were “just complaining.”
“I’m really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining,” Green said. “They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change that. It’s coming off as a complaint because the people that can change it, they’re just going to continue to say, ‘Well, the revenue isn’t there. The revenue isn’t there. So if you don’t bring in the revenue, we can’t up your pay.’”
The WNBA generates an estimated $60 million in revenue, compared to the NBA's $7.4 billion. But the NBA splits its revenue roughly in half between the league and players, while — until recently — WNBA players received around 20 percent. After opting out of their collective bargaining agreement in 2018, WNBA players have the potential to earn a 50-50 revenue split in 2021, "based on the league achieving revenue growth targets," reported SB Nation.
Thanks to those who've taken an interest in this issue. I wanted to post the second half of this interaction with @KerithBurke & Draymond. He says women need to call out companies/entities who aren't valuing female athletes (they have been). Men with power need to do it too. pic.twitter.com/uz3nEoLNvk— Kylen Mills (@KylenMills) April 5, 2021
United States soccer women's national team star Megan Rapinoe, a staunch advocate for women's rights and equal pay, called the comments "unfortunate," saying that female athletes were doing more than just complaining.
Also when they call you about doing a PSA for Women’s Month, why don’t you also tell them alllllllll the things we have been telling them, since forever.— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 27, 2021
"That's frustrating that's the take you have. You obviously showed your whole ass in not even understanding what we all talk about all the time -- WNBA players and us on the national team. Like what Sue [Bird] said, you tagged the wrong people. You don't think we asked for more money? I mean, what are we screaming about? Nonstop!" she said, reported ESPN.
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