Whoopi Goldberg To ESPN: “Sweeten That Deal” With Caitlin Clark & The WNBA; Indy Reporter Apologizes For Creepy Quip

Just days after President Joe Biden decried the wage disparity between female and male athletes, Whoopi Goldberg said on ABC’s The View that ESPN should “sweeten” its deal for the broadcast rights of WNBA games.

After pointing out the Clark will make an initial annual salary of $76,535 as a player for the Indiana Fever, Goldberg then noted, “The entire Fever payroll is $1.2 million. That is less than the minimum salary for a single NBA player with a year’s experience.”

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The women players, Goldberg continued, “have the headlines, they have the fans, they have the viewers, when the hell are they going to get paid?” Noting that ESPN and ABC are both part of the “Disney thing,” Goldberg added that ESPN “should have kissed this deal by taking care of all of the WNBA and given them enough money for a bump up because you know you have another deal to make. Sweeten that deal.”

View co-host and legal expert Sunny Hostin then said, “The collective bargaining agreement that was signed in 2020 gave the players a 53% increase in salary – that should tell you how bad it was. Now in context, though, they also got better travel arrangements because they were actually putting these very tall women in coach, they were sharing hotel rooms, they were riding these terrible buses. So we came a long way from where we were, but the bottom line is, the NBA has been in existence for 50 more years of the WNBA. They do bring in more money, they bring in several billion dollars as opposed to several million dollars. But times have changed. We know that this college basketball game was viewed by more people than all the men’s college basketball games.”

Next, co-host Sara Haines said, “This isn’t about ‘They make billions, they make million,'” and explained, “Bigger than the overall revenue is that 40% of NBA league revenues go to player salaries in the NBA. In the WNBA, they only put forth 10%.”

The pay dispute debate comes as Clark was subjected to yet another indignity this week when a press conference went viral after Indianapolis Star sports reporter Gregg Doyel imitated Clark’s signature heart-hand gesture as he was about to pose a question. When Clark explained that she made the gesture to her family after every game, Doyel awkwardly responded, “Well, start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

After online backlash over the creepy quip, Doyel wrote an apologetic column in the Indy Star, noting, “In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family. After going through denial, and then anger – I’m on the wrong side of this? Me??? – I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrongCaitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”

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