Fans Are Angry Huge Gap Between Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Salary and Her Male Co-workers. Even When You Are the Best, You Are Still Not Treated Fairly. Caitlin Clark’s Salary Even Ranks Fourth in College Sports.

Clark’s contract will the Indiana Fever will see her pocket $338,056 over the course of four years. In contrast, last year’s No. 1 NBA draft secured a $55 million four-year contract.

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament National Championship against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Cleveland on April 7. Steph Chambers / Getty Images

College basketball superstar Caitlin Clark is set to soar to new heights in the WNBA — but her rookie contract will see her pocket a fraction of the millions her male counterparts have made on the court.

The University of Iowa legend, who has already made history as the NCAA Division I basketball’s overall top scorer, sealed a contract with the Indiana Fever after she was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft Monday.

The contract will see Clark earn $338,056 over the course of four years, according to the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Under the 2024 WNBA rookie scale for the No. 1 – 4 draft picks, she’ll earn a base salary of $76,535 for her first year, $78,066 the second year, $85,873 the third, and a fourth year option of $97,582.

Despite her unprecedented star power, Clark’s salary is a sliver of the eye-popping amount male athletes make in the NBA.

WNBA draft picks No. 2-4 — Stanford’s Cameron Brink who went to the Los Angeles Sparks, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso with the Chicago Sky, Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson also with the Sparks — will make the same pay as Clark.

For comparison, San Antonio Spurs rookie star Victor Wembanyama — the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft — secured a $55 million four-year contract that saw him pocket $12.1 million in his first season, according to athlete contract tracker Spotrac.

Though Clark will likely rake in much more income through endorsements and sponsorships, outraged simmered on social media over the glaring salary disparity between the WNBA and NBA.

“TODAY” show host Hoda Kotb said Tuesday morning: “They’ve already sold out games. She had the highest ratings, her teams and the Final Four had the highest ratings — higher than the World Series, higher than the NBA. So, I was like, what is she going to get paid? Because finally, you can get a real paycheck. Then I saw it and was like, this can’t be right.”

Co-host Jenna Bush Hager added: “Honestly the gap is so jarring … We’re talking about equal pay. That ain’t even close.”

They noted that things will likely change in the future as games have already sold out and viewership, which has historically lagged behind the NBA, has soared, partially on account of Clark’s celebrity.

President Joe Biden said on social media Tuesday that “Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all.”

“But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share,” the president said. “It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve.”

Male athletes also chimed in on the gap.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson shared a post about Clark’s pay on X, adding: “These ladies deserve so much more … Praying for the day.”

“To the people saying it doesn’t matter what Caitlin Clarks salary is because she will be making millions through endorsement, it actually does matter,” one user on X wrote.

“Presumably she’ll make bank on endorsements but Caitlin Clark’s WNBA salary is less than that of a union nurse, teacher, or cop,” another added.

Journalist Lisa Ling wrote on Instagram: “Steph Curry makes more per game than what Caitlin Clark is making for 4 years! With the toll sports and travel take on women’s bodies, is this even a living wage? I know WNBA games have not brought in comparable numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but this is disgraceful. Do better for all of our women athletes!”

The fight for more equitable pay in women’s basketball has been a long one.

“From a salary standpoint, it’d be great for the women to be able to make more money,” WNBA legend Lisa Leslie said in an October 2022 episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted” in a conversation with fellow basketball stars LeBron James and Draymond Green.

“It’s a lot of work — it’s a lot of hard work. I think I saw something that said one player that makes maybe $12 million on an NBA team can cover the whole WNBA’s salaries. And so that’s kind of crazy,” she added.

The WNBA did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.



On Monday, college basketball icon Caitlin Clark was selected with the No. 1 pick of the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.

The pick itself wasn’t shocking considering she has unlimited range, is crafty with the ball, and finished her career as college basketball’s all-time leading scorer. Her talent and inspiring story have drawn millions of fans to the game in historic fashion, and also helped her ink deals with Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, and Buick among numerous other major brands.

Following her name being called, a report by Spotrac revealed she will sign a four-year deal with the Fever worth $338,056.

According to, Clark’s NIL valuation was $3.5 million, which ranked fourth in college sports behind Bronny James, Shedeur Sanders, and Livvy Dunne. However, her impact on women’s basketball goes far beyond monetary value, and likely helped change the trajectory of the sport. Something Dawn Staley made sure she mentioned during South Carolina’s title celebration.

Clark’s brand deals and endorsements will likely only get more lucrative throughout her career, as she will now look to help turn around the Fever. She will team up with last year’s No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston.


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