A'ja Wilson: WNBA Built on the Backs of Black Women

"WNBA star A'ja Wilson highlights the vital role of Black women in the league's success, calling for greater recognition and investment to address systemic inequalities in women's sports."

Salman Khan
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A'ja Wilson: WNBA Built on the Backs of Black Women

A'ja Wilson: WNBA Built on the Backs of Black Women

A'ja Wilson, a star player in the WNBA, has stated that the league was built on the backs of Black women, emphasizing their significant role and impact on the organization. Wilson's comments come amidst discussions about the appeal and prominence of players like Caitlin Clark, a White woman, in the WNBA.

The selection of Sabrina Ionescu, a White player, as the cover athlete for NBA2K24 over the majority Black WNBA All-Star starters has highlighted the lack of media coverage and recognition for Black women in the league, despite their dominance. "The WNBA was built on the backs of Black women," Wilson stated, stressing the vital contributions of Black players to the league's foundation and success.

The article also addresses the discrepancies in pay between the WNBA and NBA, with the No. 1 WNBA draft pick Caitlin Clark earning significantly less than the No. 1 NBA draft pick. While acknowledging that the pay gap is a systemic issue and not Clark's fault, as WNBA salaries are collectively bargained, the article argues that criticism should be directed towards the systemic barriers and obstacles faced by Black players, rather than individual players like Clark.

Why this matters: Wilson's comments shed light on the ongoing struggles and inequalities faced by Black women in professional sports. The WNBA's history and success are intrinsically tied to the contributions and achievements of Black players, yet they continue to face disparities in recognition, media coverage, and compensation compared to their White counterparts.

At the TIME100 Summit, Wilson delivered a compelling message about the importance of financially supporting female athletes. She emphasized that fans can directly impact the growth and sustainability of women's sports by buying jerseys, attending games, and investing in these women. Wilson and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad stressed the need for greater investment from both large corporations and individual supporters to address the systemic inequalities in women's sports.

Key Takeaways

  • A'ja Wilson states WNBA built on Black women's contributions, yet lack recognition.
  • Sabrina Ionescu's NBA2K24 cover over WNBA All-Stars highlights media bias.
  • WNBA players earn significantly less than NBA counterparts, a systemic issue.
  • Wilson calls for fans to financially support women's sports for growth.
  • Systemic inequalities in women's sports require corporate and individual investment.