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Archive for January 15, 2020

Jan. 15, 2020 — The WNBA makes an aggressive move

Yesterday, it was announced that the WNBA and its player’s union had reached an accord on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement.

Though the league has been around since 1997, the league has been in a structural and financial quagmire. There are just 12 teams in the league, down from the peak of 16 teams in 2002.

The league started, and remains, a summer basketball league, one which has paid a lot less than many European and Asian league.

That is, until the new agreement. WNBA teams will now be able to fully compete for the best women’s talent around the world instead of feeling as though the are renting out their players to foreign leagues.

Too, the WNBA is finally spending money on travel and accommodations for its players. Time was, players in their first four years in the league were required to share a hotel room with a teammate. No longer.

Also, a player nursing a new baby would have to pay out-of-pocket in order to go on the road and get a private hotel room and bring along a family member or a nanny. But the new agreement gives new mothers a $5,000 stipend for child care.

Given the fact that the league is heading into its 24th season this spring, the one question that comes to mind is, “What took the WNBA so long to improve the working environment?”

Better late than never, I guess.