Nneka Ogwumike has ruled the court during her career with the Los Angeles Sparks.
She’s been the WNBA Rookie of the Year, league champion and MVP. Still, she’s made her biggest impact as president of the WNBA Players’ Association, negotiating the game-changing new collective bargaining agreement with the WNBA in 2019.
“I think about it impacting all sports, all women in sports,” she toldThe Undefeated. “Not only are we hoping that it inspires other women, we’re hoping that it inspires other people to invest in women’s sports.”
Salaries for top players increased by more than 80 percent, and players could earn an equal revenue split with owners if the league reaches revenue targets, according to SB Nation. The new CBA also ensures that players who go on maternity leave receive full salary, and the league will reimburse them up to $60,000 for adoption, fertility treatments and surrogacy.
“Everybody came from a woman. We’re not here without women,” Ogwumike toldUSA Today. “Negotiating this last CBA, it occurred to me there is so much these moms do not have. With the responsibilities that women have to be both mothers and to also be working – we have to create resources to empower women in all of their roles. Because we serve so many different roles in this world.”
In her role as president of the Players’ Union and through the tough negotiations, the former Stanford All-American learned a lot about herself.
“It has definitely helped me be a better teammate and just a better person in all aspects of my life,” she told SportsTechie. “It’s given me the perspective of understanding that everyone comes from a different place and everyone has something different to offer. It’s taught me very much to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.”