It’s Official: Players opt-out of CBA with WNBA

Photo Credit -- AP/Jessica Hill

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There have been months of speculation leading up to today’s big news, but the WNBPA made it official that it has opted out of its Collective Bargaining Agreement with the WNBA.

The opt-out makes it official that there will be no CBA during the 2019 season and that the goal will be between the WNBA and its players to hash out a new pact in time for the 2020 campaign – also an Olympic year.

It was expected that an announcement could have occurred on October 31 – Halloween Day, but it turned out that November 1st was the deadline for either side to opt-out.

Nneka Ogwumike, head of the WNBPA, explained that it is time for the WNBA and NBA to “Bet on Women” in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. She explained that the decision is not about her and the Diana Taurasis, Elena Delle Donnes, Maya Moores, Breanna Stewarts, and A’ja Wilsons of today, but the greats of tomorrow.

I don’t want the best and brightest female athletes in the world dreaming about playing in the NBA. I don’t want the best and brightest young girls growing up thinking that men are the pinnacle. I want those girls dreaming about growing up into the best women they can be.

–Nneka Ogwumike, WNBPA president, per The Players’ Tribune

And I want them to dream about the league that I know ours can become. A league that has a fair and consistent work environment. A league that treats its players as the world-class athletes they are. A league that invests in its future. A league that believes in us as much as we believe in it.

Among what she wrote in the piece was how arriving at this decision took a lot of thought, so she asked Chris Paul, the NBPA president for advice.

While she said the NBA’s CP3 did not say much, the words he said that stuck with the elder Ogwumike were simply…

It’s alright if you don’t know.

Mark Tatum, acting president of the WNBA and the NBA’s Deputy Commissioner, released this statement.

Note how he is already mentioning “financial realities.” It is a strong hint at the position the WNBA and NBA will approach to the CBA talks.

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