A MidWestern transgender woman trying to survive in the real life.

Category: sports

WNBA New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Yesterday the WNBPA and the WNBA reached a historic agreement that included a 50-50 revenue sharing. This puts it on par with how the NBA is structured.

Travel has always been a problem as well. Although they won’t be traveling via chartered flights as the do in the NBA, they will be now flying in premium economy class on commercial airlines. They also will not be sharing hotel rooms with other players with each player getting her own room. There has been problems with getting to games at a reasonable time.

The following are the key elements in the new 2020 WNBA-WNBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement:

Additional cash compensation elements:

– Minimum of $1.6 million in off-season league and team marketing agreements, that both recognize top performance and highlight the diversity of the league, and would create up to $300,000 in additional annual cash compensation for select players.
– Minimum of $750,000 in prize money for special competitions beginning with the 2021 season.
– New 50-50 revenue sharing beginning with the 2021 season, based on the league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals.
– Increases in cash bonuses for performance awards (such as for WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year), and newly created cash bonuses (such as for each player named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team).

Quality of travel elements:

– Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel.
– Individual hotel room accommodations for every player.
– A collaborative effort to address travel concerns through the Player Advisory Panel.

Motherhood and family planning elements:

– Players to receive full salary while on maternity leave.
– A new annual childcare stipend of $5,000.
– Two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
– Workplace accommodations that provide a comfortable, safe and private place for nursing mothers.
– New, progressive family planning benefits of up to a $60,000 reimbursement for veteran players for costs directly related to adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation or fertility/infertility treatment.

Free agency elements

– Unrestricted free agency available to players one year earlier than under the prior agreement beginning with the free agency period leading up to the 2021 season. Specifically, players who complete the playing services called for in their contract and have five or more years of service will become unrestricted free agents (if they are not designated as a “Core” player).
– Reduction in the number of times a player can receive the “Core” designation – from four to three beginning with the 2020 season, dropping to two beginning with the 2022 season.

Career development and other quality of life elements:

– The WNBA will work with its affiliated leagues, teams and sponsors to provide off-season job opportunities designed to prepare players for their post-playing careers and will advance diversity in coaching initiatives for veteran players interested in coaching careers.
– Enhanced mental health benefits and resources.
– An augmented and holistic domestic/intimate partner violence program that includes education and counseling.
– A joint Nutrition Council committed to identifying resources and address proper nutrition to optimize athletic performance.
– Access to experts in women’s health and representation on league policy committees.

St. Louis Rams show support for Ferguson

Members of the Rams’ receiving corps show their support for the Ferguson protestors.

On Sunday during the introductions of the Rams players for the Rams-Raiders game at the Edward Jones Dome in Saint Louis, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt entered the field with their hands up in the air. The gesture was used to show solidarity with the Ferguson protestors. Since the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, protestors have been using the rallying cry “hands up, don’t shot” while raising their hands up in the air in a surrender gesture. It is intended to send the message of how law enforcement are mistreating young African-American males by assuming that they are a threat because of their ethnicity and gender.

As a life long Rams fan, I was moved by the gesture of solidarity. It showed how much the Rams, or at least these five players with the Rams organization, care about the Ferguson community. During the 2014 NFL Draft, the Rams made the bold move to draft Michael Sam, making him the first openly gay American football player with the NFL. The Rams are keeping in stride with positive social change by showing that they are against racial profiling. The gesture also reminded me a lot of the 1968 Summer Olympics Black Power salute done by Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony.

It didn’t surprise me to read comments by other Ram fans on social media who were against it. In fact the Time OUT Sports Bar & Grill in Saint Louis are boycotting the Rams over it and turning their support to the Kansas City Chiefs. It saddens me when people take an act that is trying to draw attention to social injustices and then turn it around and make it look like the person drawing the attention to these facts are the violent ones.

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