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Published on November 6th, 2018 | by Landon Buford


The WNBPA Partners With Rock The Vote, Encouraging Their Fans To Get Out & Vote


National Voting Day is tomorrow & the WNBA along with the WNBPA has partnered with Rock The Vote. To make sure their fans voices are heard and to participate in the 2018 Mid-term election.  The campaign video features the Minnesota Lynx’s Rebekkah Brunson, Connecticut Sun’s Chiney Ogwumike, Atlanta Dream’s Renee Montgomery,   Las Vegas Aces’Kayla McBride, and  Las Vegas Aces Carolyn Swords.

“The WNBPA is leading by example with their commitment to youth civic engagement,” said Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote.“Athletes are uniquely positioned to empower the next generation– first-time voters and communities of color­–to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most. Rock the Vote is proud to be partnering with such a powerful collective of athlete leaders to ensure we see record turnout in tomorrow’s midterm elections.”

“Rock the Vote has been hugely successful in registering and turning out millions of voters nationwide,” said Carolyn Swords, WNBPA Executive Committee Member. “I am thrilled we have the opportunity to join forces, and to empower our fans and communities to get out and vote tomorrow!”

“We are proud of our partnership with Rock the Vote because it gives us a real opportunity to elevate and invest in the communities where we live and play. Our objective is simple and straightforward, and that is to emphasize that voting is both a right and a responsibility that we owe ourselves and each other.” —WNBPA President, Nneka Ogwumike

WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike recently appeared on ESPN’s Outside The Lines to discuss, why they have decided to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement. (CBA)  The main reason had to deal with the players not receiving enough money to pay their bills. Along with the overall player experience and how the league will be marketed as a whole moving forward.

The former CBA was assigned in March of 2014 and was supposed to last until the 2021 season. The opt-out will not affect the upcoming season, but it does mean the league and union will have to agree on a new deal for the 2020 season.  The 2020 season is also an Olympic Year.

According to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel, the players ” cast their ballots through an online voting process that was open from Oct. 14 to 21. A CBA committee made up of WNBA players studied whether opting out was the best option, taking part in conference calls and two in-person meetings.”

“We look forward to our upcoming discussions and negotiating a new agreement with the league,” the union said in a statement. Reported by ESPN.

This past season, I spoke with Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner about the pay concerns.

“We should get paid more I don’t know where it is supposed to come from that is not my job. That is somebody else’s job, but we should definitely get paid more there is no reason why we should have to go overseas to make a living… All we hear is that it is going to get better and we are working on it… So, what is happening?  Because we do not see it in our paychecks.”  Griner told me.

Griner Added:

I mean at this point; maybe we should go on strike and not play and see if anybody cares at this point I would be willing to do it. At this point, it is not getting any better talking about it. It is going to come down to at the end of my career why the hell am I still playing in the WNBA. Like I am playing for what?  To hurt myself, so I can not go overseas? And honestly, if I weren’t with the Phoenix Mercury, I would not be playing right now in the WNBA for What? Why? You do your job to make money to support you. This is not doing anything overseas is. So, I am not going to put that forever!”

The WNBA currently does not have a president after Lisa Borders took a position with Times’ Up, last month. Mark Tatum, who is the NBA’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer is currently in charge of the WNBA. Released a statement after it was announced that WNBPA would be opting out of the current agreement.

“The league and its teams are committed to an open and good-faith negotiation that is rooted in the financial realities of our business,” he said in a statement. “We are getting to work immediately and are confident such a process can lead to a fair deal for all involved,” said Tatum.

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About the Author

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.

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