WNBA legend Dawn Staley says her historic seven-year, $22.4 million contract is a “glimpse of hope for all women.”
Staley, head coach for the South Carolina University women’s basketball team, is the highest-paid Black women’s coach in NCAA women’s sports.
“I think this is an opportunity for us to have a broader conversation on how much women get paid on the dollar versus their male counterparts and many Black women get paid to their white counterparts and men,” Staley said.
“Having to fight for what I think is justifiable, it is a fight that many women across this country fight for every single day. Maybe it’s a glimpse of hope of one day getting what they deserve.”
The 5x WNBA All-Star said she had a set annual figure in her mind when she went in to negotiate her contract.
“They could’ve said no,” said Staley. “They could’ve said no, we’re not willing to invest in you that way, we pay you pretty good and that’s what you’ll get. But they wanted to be a part of history.”
Staley, 51, led the Gamecocks to a 2017 NCAA Championship and South Carolina women’s basketball team finished in the top 25 in each of the last 10 seasons.
Staley’s stellar career includes three Olympic gold medals.
“What a great gift this game has given me,” Staley said. “I feel like I owe basketball. I am coaching to repay my debt to basketball. It is a gift that keeps on giving.”