Hoda and Jenna Share Upset Over Caitlin Clark's WNBA Rookie Salary: ‘The Gap is So Jarring’ | lovebscott.com

Hoda and Jenna Share Upset Over Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Rookie Salary: ‘The Gap is So Jarring’

Hoda Kotb was all fired up after learning that WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark will make just a fraction of what her male cohorts earn for her first year as a professional basketball player.

via: Today Show

Clark, the former University of Iowa sensation who took her team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament championship games, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever on April 15.

Her four-year contract is worth a total of $338,056, per Spotrac, a site that tracks player contracts. In 2024, she’ll earn $76,535. In 2025, it’s $78,066 and in 2026, it’s $85,873. In 2027, she has an option for $97,582.

Hoda was gobsmacked when she learned what Clark’s salary will be.

“I saw it and I was like, ‘This can’t be right,’” she said April 16 on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

Victor Wembanyama, who was the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft, is playing under a four-year, $55 million contract in which he earned $12.1 million in his first season, according to Spotrac.

Hoda mentioned the top pick in the NBA draft gets $10 million, saying that the difference between men and women is frustrating.

“This is like picking at an old scab for many women,” Hoda said about the disparity before discussing her own past as a news anchor. She recalled how she has a history of “sitting for many years next to co-anchors over the years and not knowing what anyone got paid and then discovering you were making, like, a tiny fraction of what the guy was making next to you.”

Hoda said Clark has brought women’s basketball to a new level of popularity, but she won’t reap much financial benefit for it with her WNBA contract.

“I think it’s all these old things and there was something about it, like, I was imagining the little girls with the signs who were filling the stadiums, who are now obsessed with basketball, with signs that say ‘Caitlin,’ and society I guess is saying, ‘Well, this is what that’s worth right now. That’s worth $76,000,’” she said, clearly miffed.

“Honestly, the gap is so jarring. Ten million to 78 (thousand). It’s so jarring, the discrepancy. We’re talking about equal pay. That isn’t even close,” Jenna said.

Hoda then alluded to the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s fight for equal pay.

“I feel like it’s the same story. And I understand it’s about the WNBA, wasn’t making a ton of money. I understand,” she said.

“But we also know that things are changing,” Jenna said.

“This is the moment,” Hoda said.

Hoda and Jenna said Clark has sold out arenas and was so in demand that she got teams she was playing into bigger stadiums. They also noted how ratings for her games were high and that they are aware she will earn additional money through endorsements.

“We’re just talking about the baseline paycheck, which is hugely different than the men,” Jenna said.

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