It seems only fitting on a national Equal Pay Day that we include professional athletes in the discussion. If you are the number one pick in the NBA draft you will be offered a salary of $4.8 million dollars per year. If you are on the number pick in the WNBA draft you will be offered a salary of no more than $105,000 per year.
This discussion is relevant tonight as we watch Breanna Stewart win her second straight national championship as the star player of Uconn. Breanna is a graduate of Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Despite being the consensus best player in the game there is no talk of one and done for Breanna Stewart as there is for just about every player on the men's national runner up Kentucky Wildcats.
The disparity in pay is directly related to the disparity in revenue when comparing the men's and women's game. Multi-billion dollar broadcasting contracts power the multi-million dollar deals for the men. The women's game does not command the viewers to bring in that stratospheric money.
There are benefits to living without the allure of riches. Women's athletic teams get to grow and bond together. The best of the best play for four years. Their friendships deepen. Their skills grow along with their life skills and maturity. They also have the opportunity to leave their college or university with a degree. That all adds up to a life filled with promise built on a foundation of success.
Breanna Stewart has had special athletic gifts since she was a young girl. Her parents gave her the opportunity growing up in Central New York to cultivate those skills. She worked hard, loved the game and was a terrific teammate. She helped her teammates win titles in high school. Now she's helping her teammates win titles at the best women's program in the nation.
Congratulations Breanna Stewart. Central New York is proud to claim you as the best of the best.
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