The WNBA is months away from one of the defining moments of the league’s young history, when the players will opt out of their existing Collective Bargaining Agreement following the upcoming 2019 season.
The WNBA Players Association, led by former league MVP from the Los Angeles Sparks Nneka Ogwumike, wants a more equitable distribution of the league’s revenue to go towards the players. That would include better wages for players in the domestic league so they don’t have to spend their offseasons playing internationally and improved travel conditions. The Las Vegas Aces famously had to forfeit a game last season after arriving to Washington a few hours before the contest was supposed to start.
The Players Association also is pushing for better marketing of the league and a more spaced-out schedule, which is of special concern to players who not only play in other leagues but also have summer commitments to national teams — the Olympics and FIBA World Championships complicate expanding the season. The WNBA also still doesn’t have a president, after Lisa Borders stepped down last October, and is currently overseen by NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
In this crucial time for the WNBA, the NBA Players Association, headed by president Chris Paul, issued a statement of support for its female counterpart.
The WNBAPA Executive Committee responded with its own statement of resolve towards earning a more fair CBA in the future.
The NBAPA recently negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement in 2017 that avoided a lockout. The hope would be that the WNBA can come to a similar understanding.