Groundbreaking Deal Agreed To By WNBA, Players Association The Women's National Basketball Association announced a new collective bargaining agreement that will provide significant pay increases, additional benefits and maternity leave for athletes.
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Groundbreaking Deal Agreed To By WNBA, Players Association

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Groundbreaking Deal Agreed To By WNBA, Players Association

Groundbreaking Deal Agreed To By WNBA, Players Association

Groundbreaking Deal Agreed To By WNBA, Players Association

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/796540417/796540418" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Women's National Basketball Association announced a new collective bargaining agreement that will provide significant pay increases, additional benefits and maternity leave for athletes.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. The WNBA is taking a, quote, "big bet on women."

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That's how Commissioner Cathy Engelbert described a new collective bargaining agreement with the league and its players on Tuesday. Here's Engelbert sharing the big news on "Good Morning America."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

CATHY ENGELBERT: We came together. We collaborated. And we have what we think is a groundbreaking agreement that's going to support these players for the long term and the next generation of players. It's going to include a tripling of the top players' cash compensation.

ROBIN ROBERTS: Tripling?

ENGELBERT: Tripling.

GREENE: Yeah. We should say WNBA players have long advocated for higher pay, addressing the massive and growing gender wage gap in pro basketball. Under this new agreement, for the first time in WNBA history, salaries would exceed six figures.

MARTIN: Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike celebrated with her teammates.

(CHEERING)

MARTIN: She called the proposed contract our legacy and outlined one of the biggest changes.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHINEY OGWUMIKE: Highlight player health and well-being, the future moms in our league will receive full salary while on maternity leave.

MARTIN: Plus a stipend for child care and two-bedroom apartments for players with kids.

GREENE: As well as - and we have to mention this - travel benefits for away games. Until now, teammates have had to share hotel rooms. Under this new contract, everyone gets their own room. On "Good Morning America," player Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney's sister, says this goes way beyond basketball.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

NNEKA OGWUMIKE: We have women's soccer, we have women's hockey that are looking up to what we are looking to do. And so we're really hoping that it can set the tone and really create that legacy for women in sports moving forward.

MARTIN: The contract must still be approved by the league's board and the players union members.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BOSS")

FIFTH HARMONY: (Singing) Every day is payday. Swipe my card...

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