WNBA CBA Clears Lane For Prosperity

WNBA reaches new CBA
Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and the WNBA players' association reached an astonishingly positive new CBA, with four main benefits. Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The new WNBA CBA bolsters the progressive league’s standing, removing a pall of uncertainty. The new agreement significantly boosts salaries and marketing expenditures while expanding maternity care. However, what are the biggest strengths of the breakthrough agreement? I’ll cover four significant positives from my fanboy perspective.

1. Empowerment

For years, players bemoaned gross inequality compared to the NBA and league indifference to players’ quality of life. The new CBA provides a substantial pay raise for stars, improves travel accommodations, and dramatically improves maternal benefits. Hell yeah! About darn time the ladies got some respect. And Twitter loved it!

Speaking out about women’s inequality is not “whining” or “faminazism.” Women’s sports are legitimately underserved, and the new CBA benefits are an essential step towards justice.

2. Player vs. owner balance

Unfortunately, with vast wealth disparities between WNBA franchises (only some have an affiliation with NBA counterparts), we can’t yet have the same free agency excitement as the NBA. However, this CBA importantly gives players more leverage. Teams can’t “core” (or franchise) their players as often now, and the WNBA moved free agency up a year. These benefits primarily aren’t about fan excitement. Instead, they ensure players maintain control of their careers and basketball destinies.

3. Health Care

While the nation continues to debate health care issues, the WNBA stopped waiting. The new agreement improves mental health benefits, a critical issue considering recent concerns by Liz Cambage and Skylar Diggins-Smith. Also, note NBS is, of course, against illegal monopolies. However, women still have a monopoly on childbirth. Thankfully, players on maternity leave will now receive full salaries, comfortable workplaces, and family planning services. Considering only 144 women can play in the W, it’s proper the elite hoop warriors receive complete, holistic health treatment.

 4. They do care!

On a more general note: a widespread frustration I’ve had is generally laziness by the front office.  The league hasn’t cared about marketing, and travel was so cumbersome the Aces had to forfeit a game. Attention to detail seems greatly improved with the new deal. The W will now spend $1.6  million minimum on marketing and made significant concessions on flight and hotel accommodations. The biggest mistake fans and players can make is to shout, “hooray!” and stop fighting for greater equality. However, there’s no doubt from any WNBA follower the 2020 CBA  is a vital eurostep towards women’s sports rights. So book the hotel and call Ticketmaster: the WNBA returns with a pleasing renewed emphasis on player strength and feminine might.

Jeffrey Newholm
About Jeffrey Newholm 196 Articles
Hey there! I’m Jeff Newholm and depending on your point of view I’m blessed or cursed that my two favorite sports are outside the limelight. Being a UW-Whitewater grad (winter 2013) my first love was d3 college football, but over the last few years I have picked up a huge interest in woman’s basketball (Uconn being my favorite team as their 90 game winning streak helped show me how good a team can get in the woman’s game). I like all the sports everyone else likes (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA basketball and football) but those two sports are where I really have a passion.
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