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Jared McKee

Prof. Bruner
April 8, 2015
English 120
Public Argument Essay

Should Men and Women Get Equal Pay in Pro Basketball?

A common argument throughout history is the battle of equality.
People have been debating and arguing this topic since the beginning of
time. The constitution states that men and women in the United States of
America are born with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
However, we are not born with the right of equal pay. The idea of
professional sports in todays world is that the best athletes will play and will
make the most money, not that every professional athlete should receive
equal wages for their efforts. Some athletes are better than others. Thats
just the bottom line. Men and women should not be equally compensated in
professional sports for a few very important reasons: mens sports produce
much more revenue than womens sports, men are all around superior
athletes to female athletes, and the NBA has been around much longer than
the WNBA.
To start of this argument on equal pay among men and women in the
professional basketball leagues, it is necessary to start by comparing two of
the leagues finest, most well-known players. Kevin Garnett is a house hold
name if you are a fan of the NBA. Some of his awards include league MVP,

Defensive Player of the Year, Olympic gold medalist and has won numerous
NBA championships (Equal Pay,1). Like Garnett, Tamika Catchings is also
known for being an all-around player on the court. She has won MVP, fourtime winner of Defensive Player of the Year, and has won three Olympic gold
medals (Equal Pay). Although both of these players are very impressive, the
compensation they both get from their leagues does not match their
spreadsheets. Garnett, without endorsement deals taken into consideration,
makes 21 million dollars annually (Equal Pay). With endorsements, he makes
roughly 20 million dollars. Tamika Catchings makes the WNBA league
maximum which is 105,000 dollars (Equal Pay). This does sound pretty one
sided. However, another point that is necessary to know is that although the
two players play the same position, Kevin Garnett stands at a whopping
611 while weighing 220 pounds (Equal Pay). When you stand these two
athletes up next to each other, the physical dominance of Kevin Garnett
compared to Tamika Catchings is not even close to a fair match. Putting
these two players on the court against each other would show why Kevin
Garnett is making 20 million dollars a year, and Tamika Catchings is not.
When the issue of equal pay among male and female athletes is
brought up, something that you cannot leave out of the argument is how
much more money mens sports produces. In todays world, there are many
professional mens sports leagues than womens so sometimes it is hard to
get a fair comparison. For example there is no womens professional
football, hockey, lacrosse or even softball leagues. So, it is not really fair of

me to compare two different sports next to each other. The sport that will be
the focus of discussion is basketball. The NBA and the WNBA are two
leagues that have established themselves of producing the finest basketball
athletes that they have to offer. However, just because they both produce
fine basketball players does not mean that they are both equally successfully
financially. The NBAs average salary is 5.5 million dollars a year per player
(NBA Vs. WNBA). This does not mean that every player is making this exact
dollar amount, not even close. There are players making much more and
much less than this, but it is the average annual salary. This is much more
than the 72 thousand dollar average that the WNBA players are making (NBA
Vs. WNBA). Again, this doesnt mean that this is the salary that every player
in the womens league is making, but it is the average annual salary. Now,
this is obviously a monumental difference and it does seem incredibly unfair.
However, when you look at the two leagues annual revenue, you will see the
players compensation is not that different after all. The two leagues annual
revenue are not even comparable in size. The NBA last year had an annual
revenue of a whopping 5 billion dollars while the WNBA had a much smaller
revenue of 85 million dollars. Both, numbers are very high, but it is obvious
that the mens league makes much more. Now, how does this make the
athletes compensation fair? When you compare the leagues average salary
and annual revenues in a proportion you will find that the WNBAs annual
revenue is roughly 1.7% of the NBAs annual revenue. When you make the
same proportion for the leagues average salaries, you find that the WNBAs

average salary is 1.3% of the average NBAs salary. This means that the
WNBAs average salary is only 0.4% off of the proportional salary in the
NBAs salary when compared to the two leagues annual revenues. When
you do the math, Men and Women are not compensated very differently in
todays professional basketball leagues.
When a person chooses what sport they want to watch, there are a few
thoughts that go through their head. They want to watch the game with the
finest athletes and who will be the most exciting to watch. For example, if
you have the chance to watch a little league football game or the Super
bowl, which would you choose to watch? The answer is obvious. Anyone
would choose to watch the Super bowl. There should be no question! That
game offers some of the worlds finest athletes with the best skills who will
offer the most excitement. In order to show that men are superior athletes
to female athletes, there are a few comparisons that will prove that point.
When comparing men to women in athletic competition, some of the things
that show men being better all-around athletes are speed, strength, size and
endurance. Now, not every man beats every woman in these categories.
That is not what I am saying. However, when comparing the finest male and
female athletes in these categories, men do win every time. Running is a
very important part of all sports, especially professional Basketball. The
worlds fastest man recorded a 100 meter dash time of 9.58 seconds while
the worlds fastest woman clocked a time of 10.48 seconds (NCAA Record
Books). Both are very impressive, however the male beat the females time

by almost a whole second. Endurance is also very important to professional

sports. The fastest mile time by a female ever recorded was 4:12.56 (NCAA
Record Books). Although this is very impressive, it does not compare to the
fastest mile time by a male which was 3:43.13 (NCAA Record Books). The
two times are separated by over twenty-five seconds, which in the mile is a
huge gap. Another aspect of comparing athletes is overall strength. The
heaviest bench press that has been recorded by a woman was 480 pounds
(NCAA Record Books). The heaviest bench by a man was 722 pounds (NCAA
Record Books). The two records do not even compare. When people choose
what kind of sports they want to watch, many things go into that decision.
But, one thing that everyone can agree on is that they want to see the finest
athletes that the world has to offer. Its just common sense that it makes the
sport much more enjoyable for the spectator to watch. Seeing these records
and comparing them to one another, it is obvious that male athletes are all
around better than female athletes.
One of the biggest differences between the NBA and the WNBA is not
that one is for men and one is for women. That is not the reason that men
are paid more than women on average in professional basketball today.
Something that is very important to keep in mind when comparing the ages
of the athletes in these two leagues is how old the leagues themselves really
are. When you hear people arguing that women in the WNBA need to be
paid equal to what men in the NBA make, they forget to mention that the
NBA has been around much longer than the WNBA has. If the two leagues

were people the NBA would be a sixty-six year old man and the WNBA would
be an eighteen year old woman. If these two people were working for the
same company, chances are the old man would have some sort of executive
position in the company making a six figure salary. On the other hand, the
young woman, probably with nothing other than a high school education,
would be making minimum wage. This wouldnt be the case because shes a
female, but it would be because she is much younger with very little time put
into the company. Now, why should she be paid the same as the older man?
I dont know either. The WNBA is currently in their eighteenth year in
existence. They have had rising average annual salaries since their starting
year back in 1997. The average salary in the WNBA today is roughly
$72,000 (Salary,1). Back when the NBA was in their eighteenth season, the
year was 1967. However, back during this year, the average salary in the
NBA was only $20,000 (Salary, 1). This is obviously much less than the
average salary that the WNBA has today. The WNBA should not expect any
sort of handout in compensation because they have been around for such a
short amount of time compared to the NBA who suffered unfair pay back
when they started. However, instead of just wanting better pay, the NBA put
in its time to attract a large fan base which lead to more money for their
In the world we live in today, people do not always make the same
wages for the same jobs. Thats just how it goes. In the NBA and the WNBA,
athletes are not compensated equally for a few very important reasons:

mens sports make much more money, men are all around better athletes
than women on average, and mens sports have many more viewers than
womens sports. This argument is not a battle of men against women. It is
just fair that with these three important points being true, men make more

Work Cited

"Equal Pay? Not on the Basketball Court." USATODAY.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

"NCAA Records Books." NCAA.org. N.p., 29 Nov. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

"NBA vs WNBA: How Do They Stack Up?" Bright Side Of The Sun. N.p., 20 Aug. 2009. Web. 14 Apr.

"Players." WNBA.com: Tamika Catchings Playerfile. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

"DraftExpressProfile: Kevin Garnett, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook."DraftExpressProfile: Kevin

Garnett, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.
"Salary of a Basketball Player." Salary of a Basketball Player. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Jared McKee

Prof. Bruner
April 8, 2015
English 120
Public Argument Essay Reflection
Overall, I really enjoyed writing this paper. It was probably my favorite
paper that I wrote all year. I think that picking a topic, choosing a side, then
arguing that point is a very fun way to write. I think that having an argument
attaches you to what you are writing so that you care about it more than
writing something else. I know that at the beginning of doing my research
for this paper, I did not really care too much about the topic. Honestly, I
think I sided with the opposing argument just so I wouldnt sound like a
sexist. But, after doing my research on the topic, I can say that I do believe
in my argument. The hardest part of writing this paper was definitely trying
to make sure that I did not make the argument about men versus women. I
tried to stay away from that and to make sure that it was not a battle of the
sexes, but that it was a battle of the two different leagues, the NBA and the
WNBA. And I think that overall, I did a pretty good job of doing that. I dont
think that there was much of a change between my rough draft and my final
essay. I was pretty confident in my work and my argument that other than a
few grammatical errors and word choices, I did no really change that much.
The most important part of the writing process with this paper was definitely
the research part of the process. I picked a topic that I did not really have
too much of an opinion on and when I did my research, I found that I sided

with my side of the argument very much so I thought that was important.
The best part of my paper is definitely my supporting information because it
is very hard to argue with. There is a lot of math and statistics that show
that my side of the argument is hard to argue with. Overall, I think that my
paper is very good and I think it was easy to write because the topic was
very interesting to me.