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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The WNBA and its players' union have come to terms on a new eight-year collective bargaining agreement that includes higher salaries, improved family benefits and better travel accommodations.

Why it matters: This represents a turning point for women's basketball and could ultimately lead to a substantial shift in how female athletes — across all sports — are compensated.

"We believe it's a groundbreaking and historic deal. I'm proud of the players; they bargained hard, they unified, they brought attention to so many important topics."
— WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert

Highlights:

  • Money: The average cash compensation will reach nearly $130,000 and top players will be able to earn upwards of $500,000.
  • Benefits: Players will receive a full salary while on maternity leave and an annual child care stipend of $5,000.
  • Living: The league's teams, which provide housing, will now guarantee two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
  • Travel: Players will still have to fly commercial (rather than charter), but they'll finally get their own individual hotel rooms.

Between the lines: NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in 2018 that the WNBA had lost more than $10 million in each year of its operation, a figure that has been pointed to in the past as a reason to keep salaries low.

  • Yes, but: As WSJ's Rachel Bachman points out, "what are seen as troubling financial losses in fledgling women's leagues are often seen in men's leagues as investments."
  • For instance, Major League Soccer — which averaged the same number of viewers (246,000) for regular-season games on ESPN last year as the WNBA did — is losing more than $100 million annually because it's investing in players (the average base salary in 2019 was $345,867), and nobody bats an eye.

The bottom line per NYT's Howard Megdal: "The implications of the agreement stretch far beyond basketball at a time when women around the world are demanding increased pay and benefits, on their own merit and as a challenge to historically unequal pay that leaves them earning less than men for similar work."

Go deeper: Women take the lead on donating to support female college sports

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer but picked up a new rival.