President Biden jumped right into a debate about gender and sports activities this week, calling for pay fairness for girls athletes after Caitlin Clark, the College of Iowa basketball standout, was chosen first within the W.N.B.A. Draft.

Ms. Clark’s wage can be far lower than that of her male counterparts. Mr. Biden, writing on X on Tuesday, stated that for all their accomplishments in sports activities, girls athletes have been undervalued.

“Proper now we’re seeing that even should you’re the very best, girls aren’t paid their justifiable share,” he stated. “It’s time that we give our daughters the identical alternatives as our sons and guarantee girls are paid what they deserve.”

Mr. Biden was nodding to a banner second for girls’s basketball, one powered by stars like Ms. Clark, who was chosen by the W.N.B.A.’s Indiana Fever, and Paige Bueckers of the College of Connecticut and Angel Reese of L.S.U.

However Ms. Clark’s wage will quantity to $338,056 over the subsequent 4 years, underneath the W.N.B.A.’s collective bargaining agreement. The overall is a fraction of the contract of Victor Wembanyama, whom the San Antonio Spurs chose with the top pick in final yr’s N.B.A. Draft. His contract was for $55 million, in response to Spotrac, an internet site that tracks salaries in sports activities.

The disparity has drawn intense scrutiny throughout a pivotal second for sports activities, significantly in school athletics. College students have gained the chance to monetize their athletic success by title, picture and likeness, or N.I.L. offers, that may earn prime stars like Ms. Clark thousands and thousands of {dollars}. However the total compensation of girls in sports activities is much outpaced by how a lot cash male athletes make.

The ladies’s nationwide championship sport, by which Ms. Clark’s Iowa misplaced to South Carolina, earned higher ratings for the primary time than the boys’s championship contest between UConn and Purdue.

The president’s feedback touched off a flurry of responses on-line, some echoing Mr. Biden’s perspective about inequity and others taking a extra cynical standpoint. Critics used the event to criticize Democrats over the participation of transgender athletes in girls’s sports activities.

Martina Navratilova, the ladies’s tennis legend, praised Mr. Biden.

“Precisely,” she responded on X, and he or she referred to as for safeguarding a coverage that ensures equal entry for girls in schooling. “Which suggests don’t mess with Title IX, thanks Mr President!”

Final yr, Jill Biden, the primary woman, created a stir after L.S.U. defeated the College of Iowa, one other squad led by Ms. Clark, when she instructed that each groups ought to be invited to the White Home, which might have damaged from the custom of the president internet hosting simply the title winners.

Ms. Reese, the L.S.U. star who was additionally a prime choice within the W.N.B.A. Draft, panned the concept on the time.

“If we have been to lose, we might not be getting invited to the White Home,” she stated on a podcast.



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