There is a lot of debate recently about the disparity between salaries in the WNBA and NBA. The reasonable explanation for this is the apparent difference in the popularity of two leagues. No one really questions that as one of the biggest reasons behind the vast difference in earnings. NBA is perhaps the most prominent sports league in the world with viewership that measures in millions during the regular season and even more in the playoffs.
Gilbert Arenas, who has been vocal about many things surrounding the NBA, offered a pretty exciting and, in a way, "sarcastic" solution to increase viewership four years ago in an interview for The Guardian. In a nutshell, Arenas believes fewer uniforms worn by more attractive players are a great start.
"Now this is what America was hoping for when they announced the WNBA back in 1996… not a bunch of chicks running around looking like, cast members from Orange Is the New Black. Don't get me wrong, they have few cutie-pies, but there are a whole lotta beanpies running around."
Arenas believes players in the WNBA are mimicking men, and that is a problem that needs to be addressed. He was also straightforward and said other men who are thinking differently and disagree with his plan are probably gay and how women should focus more on being more feminized rather than looking like their colleagues in the NBA.
"Basketball has the lowest views by men BECUZ their mimicking MEN. Basketball chicks have some of the best bodies in women's sports. Lesbians or straight we can give two shits about what they prefer in the bedroom because men prefer #assandtitties and last time I checked there are 20 total titties and 10 asses running around but for some odd reason were not getting it..what were getting is tats, dreads, high socks, baggy shorts, and elbow pads..sounds like MEN attire to me..this sport will continue to be less viewed and underpaid compared to other female sports".
He compared the difference in the popularity and earnings of women tennis players and WNBA players. He believes one of the reasons for that success is the lack of clothes they are wearing alongside their skillset on the basketball hardwood.
"There's a reason 7 out of the top 10 highest-paid women athletes come from tennis. Skirts and ass…..if the NBA got rid of the thug imagine for global viewing, shouldn't you?? I don't care if u don't like the truth because men don't want to watch women act like men."
His comments initiated a lot of backlashes, especially from the WNBA that published a statement condemning his remarks. Nevertheless, Arenas is known as someone who speaks his mind no matter what the topic is about, even though his comments might be considered inappropriate for this specific topic.