Las Vegas Aces’ owner Mark Davis wants player’s salaries in the WNBA to increase, saying during a Thursday media call that it is his number one priority.
“We have to be paying these women commensurate to what their abilities are and what they’re doing,” he said.
On the call, Davis asserted that he agrees “100 percent” with what Liz Cambage said about player salaries versus coaches’ salaries on Tuesday.
The unrestricted free agent hit back at the WNBA after Aces’ coach Becky Hammon’s salary was announced to be more than $1 million a year.
“Ahhh yes the WNBA, where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest paid players super max contract,” she wrote. “Lmao and y’all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket.”
The statement was met with some backlash, as some like ESPN’s Holly Rowe felt as though Cambage was calling out Becky Hammon for the amount of money she will make as head coach.
“Becky Hammon spent 15 years in the WNBA as an undrafted player, made her way, became one of the greatest of all time,” Rowe said during Tuesday’s WNBA Free Agency show on ESPN. “Becky Hammon earned every penny she’s about to get paid because of her lifetime work in the WNBA, and players like Liz Cambage got paid more because of some of the work Becky Hammon did. So let’s celebrate a woman getting a million-dollar contract in the league instead of women tearing each other down.”
But Davis did not appear to be taking the comments that way.
“Liz Cambage kind of came out with a statement, and I agree 100 percent with what she says,” Davis said. “That the players do deserve more money. That they don’t need to be flying on commercial flights.
“I agree with all of those things and those are things that the Las Vegas Aces are going to be champions of, and that we’re going to grow for the good of everybody in this league.”
Davis said that while Hammon “didn’t want to be a million-dollar coach,” he had other plans — plans meant to help spark conversation about investing in women’s sports.
“I wanted her to be a million dollar coach,” he said. “Because I thought that she would be, in a sense — when the American Football League started, they had a television contract. And they had Joe Namath. And Joe Namath had the $400,00 contract and he sparked the imagination of everybody that ‘This league is real.’
“I felt that giving Becky Hammon the million-dollar contract… would then show everybody that there is value here.”
Aces’ star A’ja Wilson later took to Twitter to say that Davis was “talkin’ that TALK in the press conference.”
Listennnnnn Mark was talkin that TALK in the press conference pic.twitter.com/xFXTshWHn6— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) February 3, 2022
Listennnnnn Mark was talkin that TALK in the press conference pic.twitter.com/xFXTshWHn6