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“It's a male-subsidized league. We gave you your fuck**g league, none of you showed up!!!” — Bill Burr reflects on the NBA-WNBA pay gap

In his unique comedic style, Burr brings up a fact most people don't know - that the NBA covers WNBA losses each year. The women's league is yet to turn a profit since it's inception in 1997.
Comedian Bill Burr, WNBA players Courtney Vandersloot, Candace Parker, and Allie Quigley

Bill Burr, Courtney Vandersloot, Candace Parker, and Allie Quigley

After giving us a hilarious guide on how to watch an NBA game, because “the NBA is low-key rigged,” Bill Burr dedicated a portion of his latest comedy special to women's sports and the pay gap that exists between NBA and WNBA players. 

“Where are the feminists?”

The Brittney Griner case again reminded those who knew and informed those who didn't, that most WNBA players go to Russia, China, and other countries in the offseason to make money. While LeBron and the guys rest and recover, the ladies have to go play. Why?

The WNBA salary cap in 2022 is $1,379,200 - not a max contract, the salary cap. As in, how much you can spend on your entire team. That means that the 467th most paid player in the NBA, Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Lindell Wigginton could pay for an entire WNBA roster and still have money left from his $1,637,966 contract. 

The WNBA supermax in 2022 is $228,094. Nikola Jokic just signed the largest supermax in NBA history, $269,990,000 for five years. That discrepancy is often pointed out by WNBA players and representatives as a problem. Bill Burr shared his view on who's responsible. 

“Literally, I'm at home screaming at the fuck**g TV 'CAUSE YOU DON'T SELL ANY FUCK**G TICKETS!!' ... Look at the WNBA, nobody in the WNBA got COVID. They have been playing in front of three to four hundred people a night for a quarter of a century. Not to mention, it's a male-subsidized league. We gave you your fuck**g league, none of you showed up!!!”

Bill Burr, Live at Red Rocks

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Your mileage may vary on Burr's style of comedy. Some like it, some love it, others don't have a sense of humor. Burr nailed the dagger three-pointer by posing a simple challenge to the women in the audience. 

You failed them, not me, not men. Ladies, name your top 5 all-time WNBA players. Name 5 WNBA teams; name the WNBA in your fuck**g city. You can't do it!” 

NBA support

If you are wondering about the male-subsidized part, Burr is referring to the fact the WNBA loses money each year, about $10 million per year, according to Adam Silver, and that amount is covered by the NBA.

I'm all for eliminating the pay gap in society, and it's absurd people aren't paid equally for the same position. But comparing WNBA salaries to NBA salaries is like comparing the price of an iPhone and Nokia phone. Yes, they are both the same product, but one has a much larger market and, therefore, higher revenue. 

We can all be proud the NBA is supporting the WNBA, from the league covering the losses to NBA players showing up to games and helping to promote the league. But if $200k a year is not enough for you and you go abroad to make more money, that's a personal choice, hardly one made out of necessity.  

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