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Kelsey Plum corrects ‘huge misconception’ about WNBA pay gap

Kelsey Plum had a career year for the Las Vegas Aces in 2022. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum wants to correct the narrative around the WNBA’s fight for equal pay.

WNBA players aren’t looking for the same salaries as their NBA counterparts. They’re looking to earn an equal percentage of their league’s shared revenue, as Plum said Monday on The Residency Podcast.

“We’re not asking to get paid what the men get paid,” she said. “We’re asking to get paid the same percentage of revenue shared.”

She called the idea that the WNBA players want to get paid the same amount as NBA players a “huge misconception.”

“In the NBA, they have percentages of revenue shared for the players — so, jersey sales, obviously their TV contracts,” Plum said. “But that’s because their CBA negotiates, where the owners are making certain types of money, [the players] get that as well. In the WNBA, that’s not the case.”

The NBA’s CBA splits revenue evenly between players and owners.

Under the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement, players benefit from revenue sharing — but they get a 50-50 split of incremental revenue, not all revenue, per Her Hoops Stats. And the WNBPA receives 50 percent of revenue from player-specific jersey sales.

“I don’t think I should get paid the same as LeBron,” Plum said. “But the percentage of revenue — like for example: they sell my jersey in Mandalay Bay, I don’t get a dime. So that’s the stuff we’re talking about.”

Players won’t be able to negotiate for those changes until 2025, which is when the current CBA expires. But given the recent growth of the league, the WNBA landscape could look a lot different by then.

“We’re young. We’re only 25 years in, the NBA is at 100,” she said. “Where we’re at, at 25, we’re way past where the NBA was. We don’t forget that though, we compare where we’re at now to where the NBA is now.

“My goal is, by the time I leave the league I would like to see it a lot better than I found it,” she said. “I’m here to ruffle some feathers. If you want change, you’ve got to be able to see the change. If I have to take a couple of shots for someone else to be able to [do something], I’m all for it.”