As the WNBA season kicks off with new star Caitlin Clark joining the Indiana Fever, a surprising voice has joined the discussion on the league's salary structure — United States President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, President Biden took to X, formerly Twitter, to emphasize the ongoing issue of pay disparities between male and female athletes, especially in light of the financial figures emerging around rookie salaries in the WNBA.

In his tweet, Biden didn't mention Clark by name but addressed the broader issue.

“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. It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve,” Biden said in his tweet.

Caitlin Clark’s broader financial landscape outside the WNBA

A press conference welcoming Indiana Fever player Caitlin Clark, former Iowa Hawkeye standout and the no. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft
© Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY NETWORK/Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY NETW

The presidential nod to wage inequality in sports comes amid public outcry over the salary figures released for WNBA players, particularly those of Clark. The former Iowa standout, known for her sensational play, will earn a rookie salary of $76,535 this season, locked in by the WNBA's collective bargaining agreement established in January 2020.

The contrast in earnings is stark when compared to male counterparts such as the NBA’s 2023 No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama, who is set to make $12 million this season, per Alex Schiffer of Front Office Sports. The disparity has fueled debates about the valuation of women athletes and the revenue structures of sports leagues.

In response to queries on this topic, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert pointed out the potential for growth through new media rights deals and sponsorships that could eventually bolster player salaries. Engelbert highlighted that even though the WNBA is celebrating its 27th anniversary, it faces the economic challenges of what she termed a “startup league.”

Despite the modest WNBA salary, Clark stands to increase her earnings significantly through endorsements and potential overseas play. Clark's NIL valuation was estimated at over $3 million during her college career, with potential multimillion-dollar sneaker deals discussed. Additionally, the collective bargaining agreement allows her to earn up to $250,000 as a WNBA ambassador.

The conversation sparked by Biden's tweet reflects a growing awareness and advocacy for equality in sports. With the WNBA's collective bargaining agreement up for renegotiation after the 2025 season, Clark’s career might coincide with significant changes in how female athletes are compensated in professional sports.

As the debate over fair pay in women's sports continues, figures like Clark could play pivotal roles not only on the court but also in challenging and potentially reshaping the economic frameworks of professional leagues. This season, Clark's performance and her influence off the court will be watched closely, as they could herald a new era for the WNBA and women's sports at large.