Converse to pay salary of WNBA player who chooses to sit out season

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Washington Mystics star Natasha Cloud has decided to skip the 2020 WNBA season. Converse has decided to pay her salary.

“There are a lot of factors that led to this decision, but the biggest one is that I am more than an athlete,” Cloud said in a statement, via NBC 4 in Washington. “I have a responsibility to myself, to my community and to my future children to fight for something that is much bigger than myself and the game of basketball. I will instead continue the fight for social reform, because until black lives matter, all lives can’t matter.”

The WNBA allows players to skip the season without penalty beyond forfeited pay. Cloud, who was due to earn $117,000 this season, does not qualify for payment if she chooses not to play, because she is not considered to be at risk of severe complications if she contracts COVID-19.

“Converse has immense respect for Natasha Cloud’s decision to forgo the WNBA season,” the company said in a statement. “These systemic racial justice issues are bigger than basketball. To be able to put her career and passion on hold in order to devote her energy, voice and platform to change demonstrates her integrity and strength. We are proud to have her on the Converse team, are humbled to match her forfeited players salary and look forward to working together with Natasha on these issues as well as supporting her vision in this space.”

The gesture raises the question of whether and to what extent companies will help pay the salaries of NFL players or other pro athletes who choose not to play this season or whether there will be a broader effort to raise money for players who choose not to play. Much of the outcome depends on the number of players who choose not to play.

Appearing on Tuesday’s #PFTPM, Rodney Harrison suggested that players who already have made plenty of money may be more inclined to skip the season. Many of those players are still earning significant salaries, making the decision to skip a year more costly. Also, players who are concerned about statistics and legacies may have a hard time pressing pause on their careers.

Regardless, Converse’s willingness to cover Natasha Cloud’s salary becomes another angle to the manner in which decisions will be made in other sports, including the NFL.

27 responses to “Converse to pay salary of WNBA player who chooses to sit out season

  1. She gets to take year off and still gets paid? And she’s complaining about injustice?

  2. Ernie Kaltenbrunner says:
    June 30, 2020 at 7:07 pm
    Classy move, didn’t know they still existed

    ____

    I didn’t know the WNBA still existed, either.

  3. Bit of a reach as a football tie in.

    And 100k is way less than a football salary of 5 million, etc. No chance.

  4. Converse, owned by Nike, laid off 30k workers not that long ago, so, yeah look good in the public eyes, helping one person, but screw a ton of people over behind the scenes- not unlike many philanthropic endeavors, they fall short with a little digging about

  5. Converse, please pay her $600 a week just like many other Americans are receiving. Ensure it runs out after four months.

  6. Converse is Nike. Lost 780 million dollars last quarter. Add the fact that the average Nike employee makes around $23,000 a year. With kids that’s below the poverty line. Yet, Nike CEO had a recent bonus of $45 million. Not like this even puts a dent in that. Shame that most don’t know what and who actually owns Converse.

  7. You do that, Natasha. The rest of the world will continue to not realize the WNBA even exists. Carry on.

  8. I dont get the WNBA. It doesnt make money, it loses money. What’s the purpose of a business if it’s going to lose money?

  9. tm05 says:
    June 30, 2020 at 8:43 pm
    I dont get the WNBA. It doesnt make money, it loses money. What’s the purpose of a business if it’s going to lose money?

    Ah, political climate we live in bud

  10. springfield says:
    June 30, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    She gets to take year off and still gets paid? And she’s complaining about injustice?
    ________________________________________________________

    She is very active protesting in DC with John Wall. It now appears that both athletes will get paid to protest and not be with there teams.

  11. “because until black lives matter, all lives can’t matter.”

    Until black lives matter to all blacks, all lives can’t matter.

  12. So many folks are so upset about a WNbA player using their leverage
    I wonder what it is about this player that drives them so crazy. Oh that’s right bob, it’s a gender race double whammy!

  13. tm05 says: “I dont get the WNBA. It doesnt make money, it loses money. What’s the purpose of a business if it’s going to lose money?”
    ————————–

    Many football leagues in their early years (American Football League 1930s, All-American Football Conference 1940s, AAF 2019, etc) lost money or outright folded.

    Does WNBA have a viable financial future? Maybe, maybe not. But if you’re not the one losing money, why do you care?

  14. Will Converse (Nike) open their coffers to other WNBA players who will now want to get paid to not work?

  15. Most people who fight for justice also have to work jobs to make ends meet. Must be nice to have this kind of privilege.

  16. Please…take your platform. Get out there. Be the face that kap isnt. We need you to elaborate what he wants. We all are here to listen.

  17. Most of us are black, brown, white, green… we have always gotten along. We are all stumped why their are issues. All of us figure it is one of two things… money or politics.

  18. If you want to keep being the problem…of my white, black, brown, yellow friends…then you can do so. We all love each other. Since kids. And we are all 40 years old. You are just making times weird. Best buds.

  19. She makes $117k a year. Drop in the bucket write-off for Converse. No one is going to be paying big salary athletes to sit out.

  20. We are proud to have her on the Converse team, are humbled to match her forfeited players salary and look forward to working together with Natasha on these issues as well as supporting her vision in this space.”
    I wonder if Converse would be so “humbled” to do the same for their employees?

    Also, we’re always told that players get paid to practice, playing the actual game is fun and they would play for free. Why would any player sit out the year? Where’s the passion?

  21. “…until black lives matter, all lives can’t matter.”

    I’m sorry,… WHAT?!

  22. I’m sure nobody would ever dare accuse her of using black lives matter as an excuse where as her real concern is getting the virus… Just sayin’

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