Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Career > Money

The Internet Is Pissed About Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Starting Salary

It’s official: Basketball star Caitlin Clark has gone pro! Clark became the No. 1 pick at the 2024 WNBA draft and has found her new home with the Indiana Fever as she prepares to leave the University of Iowa Hawkeyes upon graduation. 

The draft, which occurred on April 15 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, was filled with pure celebration for Clark, as her family, friends, fans, and teammates past and future showed up to support Clark for the start of her professional career. “When you’re just sitting at a table waiting for your name to be called, that really allows the emotions to feed you,” Clark said to ESPN at the event. “You’re with your family. Obviously, playing a basketball game, I’m not out there with my family. So sharing that moment with them and enjoying it, and people that have really had my back and believed in me more than anyone, is super special.”

While the celebration is well deserved, many fans are taking to Twitter in anger on behalf of the star. The source of outrage is Clark’s WNBA salary, which, according to The Washington Post will be $76,535 for her first year on her new team. Many fans believe that, considering Clark’s skills on the court and the amount of attention she and her fellow players have brought to the sport recently, she should be entitled to a higher salary. 

A lot of these feelings stem from the comparison between NBA and WNBA starting salaries. For context, the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick will earn a more than $10 million starting salary, according to Glamour. While Clark’s earnings will increase significantly with the sponsorship and endorsement deals that will come her way now that she’s going pro, fans are still appalled by how low her — and her fellow WNBA colleagues’ — base salary is.

Many fans are quick to point out that despite Clark being one of the best offensive players to ever enter the WNBA, according to CBS (and anyone who’s been keeping track of the NCAA), her salary is comparable to many “regular-people” jobs and lifestyles. 

According to The Sporting News, Clark’s NIL (name, image, and likeness) valuation skyrocketed to $3.1 million after making NCAA Division I history as the all-time leading scorer across men’s and women’s basketball. Here’s hoping those sponsorships and endorsements help bring her much closer to that number than her salary does.

Addie Whightsil is a Public Relations student at the University of Oklahoma. Beyond academics, Addie's interests extend to the simple pleasures in life. She has an undeniable affection for juice, savoring every drop of its fruity goodness. Her fondness for Jellycats, those irresistibly huggable stuffed animals, adds a touch of whimsy to her daily life. However, what she really loves is sharing personal stories and life lessons for the internet to read.