WNBA players advocate for better pay ahead of All-Star game

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 18:40:34-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Kayla McBride is not trying to be LeBron James.

“It’s just making sure we’re being valued in the way we feel we deserve," McBride said.

McBride is dominant on and off the court -- a three-time All Star guard who’s active in the fight for better pay.

RELATED: AFTER INJURY; Aces' A'ja Wilson still captain of WNBA All-Star Game team

“It comes with a lot of time and work and effort and conversations that just need to be had. And we’re ready to have them. With the leadership we have, with our players association and in our league, and with these women, the time is now," said McBride.

Last November, the WNBA’s Players Association voted to opt out of its current collective bargaining agreement, which expires at the end of this season. McBride and other WNBA players are pushing for better, more equitable pay.

Right now, 50% of NBA league revenue goes to player salaries. That percentage is closer to 25% for WNBA players.

RELATED: Raiders buying tickets to Aces WNBA games for youth groups

"Already you have a lower amount of money that's being generated. And then you have a lower percentage that's actually going to the players," said Nancy Lough, professor at UNLV's College of Education, and an expert on issues of women in sports.

Lough said moving toward equity in sports will take continued media attention and stars like A’ja Wilson and soccer’s Megan Rapinoe being willing to use their platforms.

“They get tons of pushback from people on social media but all facets. And so being able to respond to that in a way that doesn't just turn people off, that helps to extend the conversation, that really is something that this younger generation of athletes has been much more skilled at and more willing to do," said Lough.

The WNBA All-Star game will be at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday.