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Serena Williams says she's 'super interested' in owning a WNBA team

Now is as good of a time as ever to invest in the WNBA, with conversations surrounding the pay gaps between its players and male athletes.
Serena Williams says she's 'super interested' in owning a WNBA team
Posted at 4:01 PM, Apr 16, 2024

Serena Williams said she would be “super interested” in owning a WNBA team, adding that the sport of women’s basketball is having its moment while speaking with CNN on Monday.

The 23-time grand slam tennis champion said because of the infectious excitement surrounding women's sports, and especially women’s basketball, "it's an overly safe bet" for her to invest.

“I absolutely would be [interested]. With the right market, I would definitely be super-interested in that,” she said to CNN. 

Williams had been working on her investment portfolio before she started to venture from her tennis career. She’s one of the main investors in Angel City FC, a National Women’s Soccer League team, and she's part-owner of the Los Angeles Golf Club team in the Tomorrow Golf League. 

According to CNN, her company Serena Ventures has invested in 66 startups, and 78% of them were formed by women and people of color — something she specifically sought. 

Now is as good of a time as ever to invest in the WNBA. The resurgence of women’s basketball is credited partly to its stars like Caitlin Clark, who was selected as the first pick in the WNBA draft Monday night by the Indiana Fever. 

It was the first time fans were present for the draft in eight years. 

Clark just finished her senior year at Iowa, where she led the women’s basketball team to runner-up in the NCAA tournament after losing to South Carolina in the final and became the all-time leading scorer. It was the first time in history that the women’s NCAA final drew more TV viewers than the men's, marking a pivotal moment in a season that broke viewing records with each game. 

The WNBA and the Indiana Fever are hoping Clark’s captivation effect carries into her professional career. It’s seemingly already made a mark since 36 of the Fever’s 40 regular-season games will now be nationally televised.

But social media is already stirred up about the salaries that Clark and the other top four draft picks — Cameron Brink, Kamilla Cardoso and Rickea Jackson — will be making during their first few years in the WNBA. 

According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Clark will receive a four-year contract worth $338,056. In her first year, she will be paid $76,535. 

In comparison, the minimum salary for a first-year player in the men’s league is $1.12 million, according to Yahoo Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson, who was once the highest-paid NFL player, wrote on X in reference to Clark’s potential contract, “These ladies deserve so much more… Praying for the day!”

The pay gaps between the WNBA and NBA have been a subject of passionate discussion over the last few years, particularly since WNBA star Brittney Griner was infamously detained in Russia for nearly a year after she went to the country to play for another league during the WNBA offseason. It’s something many WNBA stars do to supplement income since their maximum base salary is $228,000 a year.

SEE MORE: Brittney Griner and wife Cherelle expecting first baby

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