Women’s NBA superstar bemoans flight upgrade costs in pay row
WNBA superstar Liz Cambage has reacted angrily to reports that Becky Hammon, the new head coach of the Las Vegas Aces team she plays for, will earn a $1 million salary – pledging to stop paying for her flight upgrades while claiming that the wage gap between bosses and players is laughable.
Controversial Cambage, who admitted at the end of 2021 that she supplements her income on racy subscription site OnlyFans, lashed out at claims that former San Antonio Spurs assistant Hammon will become the highest-paid individual in the WNBA, with Aces owner Mark Davis said to be paying her salary.
Players on 'super-max' WNBA contracts, including Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Seattle’s Breanna Stewart, earn $228,000 a season, according to news.com.au.
The outlet says that despite a salary cap for the new season just shy of $1.4 million, there is no salary cap for coaches and executives.
Becky Hammon's salary as Las Vegas Aces head coach and GM will exceed $1M annually pic.twitter.com/xg252qW2hE— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 1, 2022
ahhh yes the @WNBA, where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest paid players super max contract. lmao and y’all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket.— Elizabeth Cambage (@ecambage) February 1, 2022
Australia icon Cambage, who is said to have been paid $221,000 by the Aces last season and is now a free agent, voiced her dismay at the purported figures.
"Ah yes, the WNBA – where a head coach can get paid four times the highest-paid players super max contract," said the fashion model and Instagram sensation.
"And you all think I'm [going to] spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket."
When news of her move to OnlyFans broke, Cambage told a report that she had been tempted by the prospect of making "crazy" money.
Being happy that Becky Hammon is making serious bank and wanting WNBA players to make serious bank as well don't have to be mutually exclusive. #WNBATwitter— Dana Holtzbert (@DanaHoltzbert) February 1, 2022
I think Liz Cambage's tweet is pretty clearly a shot at the league not at Becky Hammon and I think it's pretty ridiculous that it's being interpreted as anything other than that.— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) February 1, 2022
In 2018, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the relatively little-watched WNBA had lost an average of $10 million a year since its inception 22 years earlier.
WNBA icon Sue Bird's partner, US Women's National Team footballer Megan Rapinoe, has been a figurehead for equal pay in her sport, appearing before a congressional panel in 2021 to passionately put forward her case.
I mean she has a point. I just think the WNBA needs to do a better job as a whole for wnba travel situations. Every team should have they own private plane just like the NBA. Even college players travel situation is better.— blessed✨ (@_iamtetee) February 1, 2022
LMAO. First there’s only three teams in the NBA that actually own their private plane. The Lakers, the Celtics, and the Mavs. The costs of one of those Airbus A320’s, like the one Boston has costs about $110M. Which is close to double the entire revenue of the WNBA— Hah G (@808hodge) February 2, 2022
Cambage's opinion on WNBA pay received a mixed response on social media, where some fans agreed and others argued that the financial disparity between the women's league and the NBA means players cannot expect luxuries comparable to their male counterparts.
"There are only three teams in the NBA that actually own their private plane The [Los Angeles] Lakers, the [Boston] Celtics, and the [Dallas Mavericks]," claimed one respondent.
"The costs of one of those Airbus A320’s, like the one Boston has, costs about $110 million, which is close to double the entire revenue of the WNBA."
Another said: "She has a point. I just think the WNBA needs to do a better job as a whole for travel situations.
"Every team should have their own private plane, just like the NBA. Even college players' travel situation is better."
2012 London Olympic Games bronze medalist Cambage withdrew from the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 over mental health problems, having faced allegations of incidents including a confrontation with a rival player during Australia's pre-Games preparations in Las Vegas.
The 6ft 8in London-born center had previously threatened to quit the Games, citing what she saw as a lack of diversity in promotional photos produced by the Australian Olympic Committee.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion went on to say that "fake tan doesn't equal diversity" and criticize "white-washed Australia".