Michael Porter Jr. Sparks Debate Over 'Insulting' WNBA Wage Inequality Comments

Porter shared his opinion about women basketball players' demand for equal payment.

The Pivot Podcast

Denver Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr. upset some WNBA fans over recent comments he made about players' demands for pay equity.

The 25-year-old appeared on the latest episode of podcast The Pivot, where he was asked by former NFL star Fred Taylor about his outspokenness on WNBA players receiving equal pay to those in the NBA. Around the 35-minute mark in the video below, Porter suggests that women basketball players are incomparable to men because of their smaller fanbase.

"I see from both sides. I know these females want to get paid more, and they’re very talented. But so is a famous ping-pong player," Porter says. "Like, the best ping pong player is just as talented as the best NBA player. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to get paid the same because it’s what the people wanna watch." 

View this video on YouTube


"As much as I understand females wanting the same treatment as men basketball players, it's a different sport. They're not packing out the arenas, obviously, their TV deals aren't the same. So as much as I advocate for women and kind of the equality of the respect of their craft, I mean, you can't pay them the same thing," he continues. "But I do feel like there should be a little way to make a little bit more money because they are very talented."

These comments set off discourse on social media from users who quickly clocked Porter's thoughts as "insulting."

this wasn’t advocating for women’s hoops at all smh it’s actually insulting https://t.co/bwbJDLixIe pic.twitter.com/NArMYhzTvJ

— alexis (@alexisfromvegas) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @alexisfromvegas

Man! lol Michael Porter Jr compared WNBA players wanting more pay to famous ping pong players wanting more pay. I can’t wait to see the fall out from that lmao

— Craig Smith (@CSmithBball) February 1, 2024
Twitter: @CSmithBball

The gender wage gap between the NBA and WNBA remains a hotly debated topic, with the maximum salary for the latter being $234,936 in 2023, per NBC Sports Washington. That's a significant difference in comparison to the NBA, where a player makes an average of $10.8 million yearly, according to Front Office Sports.

In 2022, Las Vegas Aces player Kelsey Plum clarified on The Residency Podcast that WNBA players aren't seeking equal pay as their male counterparts, but an equal percentage of their league’s shared revenue.

Check out more of the reactions to MPJ's commments below.

Clearly he does not have the range for this convo cuz he sounds like a very ignorant and misogynistic man on the matter. https://t.co/7JSuZ1059K

— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @CWilliamson44

Calling women “females” was telling. Just really demeaning and rude to talk about women’s basketball like this https://t.co/aimMrXGmjZ

— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @jackfrank_jjf

KP has literally said “I don’t think I should make as much as lebron but we’re asking to get the same percentage of revenue.” MPJ really just be talking to talk smh 🗑️ https://t.co/OBArHereEj

— Savannah🤎 (@__Savannah_) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @__Savannah_

“ThEy’Re NoT pAcKiNg OuT tHe ArEnAs”

I feel bad for MPJ’s sister. https://t.co/LNnb2Vp7Rw pic.twitter.com/SiU9P0Synd

— Jess Reinhardt (@JRein44) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @JRein44

in case anyone was curious, here's an incomplete list of nba players who have not dunked yet this season:
- steph curry
- chris paul
- trae young
- kevin love
- kyle lowry
- marcus smart
- fred vanvleet
- mike conley

are any of those players fun/exciting?https://t.co/lGC3Cl7opy https://t.co/7oKMptbHvj

— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @mellentuck

when i think the clip can’t worse…it does….and then it gets even more worse. https://t.co/2zFoh8DYqs

— Lexie Brown (@Lexiebrown) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @Lexiebrown

Ryan was making valid points with the revenue and we need to continue to promote the WNBA but that “lower the rim” argument is incredibly stupid. I don’t watch the game for that outside of a dunk contest, https://t.co/z4mkm1ga86

— im talking that talk that got Malcolm X watched (@TheBlackCyde) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @TheBlackCyde

#1. The WOMEN want pay EQUITY, not pay EQUALITY. There's a difference. Kelsey Plum explained it here. https://t.co/mg2q3u1E2B

#2. FEMALE implies a biological category while WOMAN is a female human. When referring to a group of female humans, the correct word is "WOMEN." https://t.co/6WUdCLm0QU

— Zena Keita (@itszenakeita) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @itszenakeita

Some NBA players really don’t support the growth of the WNBA or the evolution of WBB like they “portray”.

MPJ case in point. https://t.co/G0cpeeisFH

— Markeshia A. Grant, M. Ed (@savvyfive) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @savvyfive

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