Michael Porter Jr.: “They’re very talented [WNBA players] but so is a famous ping pong player. They’re just as talented. The best ping pong player is just as talented as the best basketball player, it doesn’t mean they’re going to get paid the same. It’s what the people want to watch. As much as I understand females wanting the same treatment as men basketball players, it’s a different sport. They’re not packing up the arenas, obviously their TV deals aren’t the same. So as much as I advocate for women, the equality, the respect of their craft, and all those things... I mean, you can’t pay them the same thing. But I do feel like there should be a way to make a little bit more money because they are very talented.”
Doug Gottlieb: “What was said wrong? There’s this group of people on social media who legitimately care about women’s sports and want it to grow, and then there’s this other group that kind of mirrors it. You’re all f*cking phonies. You’re a bunch of phonies. You’re trying to get liked on Twitter because you think if you go ‘OH, MAN, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL IS AMAZING! I'M TUNING IN! I’M WATCHING! WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE TUNING IN?? PUT IT ON! IT’S WORTH MORE MONEY! PAY THEM MORE MONEY! MORE REVENUE!’... You’re phonies because you don’t REALLY believe it, you’re just trying to curry favor so you can be popular with that section of people who actually give a sh*t.
To the people who actually give a sh*t – you're fine. Listen, I understand that you feel like you’re in an uphill battle. You want some sort of question of equality. You’re not going to get it if you want equal revenue share. Do you know why? Because a lot of these teams don’t make any f*cking money. The reason they don’t open the book to show you is because they don’t make any money. If they did you could ‘share’ in the revenue, but what if there’s zero revenue? Share in that. Women’s basketball is doing fine. It’s actually growing. It’s doing better than it’s ever done. It is NEVER EVER going to equal out to the NBA. It is not the same. You have women’s basketball who complain about the revenue share. You’re allowed to complain about that when you negotiate your collecting bargaining agreement. I DON’T WANNA HEAR A THING ABOUT IT NOW BECAUSE I DON’T CARE. What if I were to go on air and talk about how much money I make, and how we make money here? You know what you would say? You’d say either 1) that sounds pompous, or 2) I don’t give sh*t. You have a union, you collectively bargain. Whatever you can get out of that CBA or that collective bargaining, if you can get 70% of your revenue, fine. But don’t complain to us, don’t complain to social media. And you know what you also shouldn’t do? You shouldn’t make us ‘misogynist’. Michael Porter’s mom was a hooper. She was really good. And all he’s stating is the obvious, which is it’s not about how 'good' you are, it’s simply about how many people will watch it, and how much networks will pay to broadcast your product. That’s it.
You can sit here and tell me how ‘POPULAR!’ women’s basketball is. Here is the simple data... The Women’s NCAA Tournament is as popular as it’s ever been. It’s new media deal with ESPN is worth $60 million a year. The Men’s Tournament, which was negotiated five years ago and probably worth 25-30% more, it’s $770 million a year. You are worth what somebody is willing to pay you. You can tell me how ‘valuable’ women’s basketball is, and how ‘underpaid’ the WNBA women are, but the college women – it’s better, more watchable, and more watched that it’s ever been, but it’s worth $60 million a year. The men’s tournament is worth $770 million and probably undervalued because it was done five years ago. STOP. The 50% of you who are saying this is ‘MISOGYNIST!’ are just trying to curry favor. Stop it, everybody sees through it. The 50% of that same group on Twitter who really, really love women’s basketball -- just celebrate the fact that we’re watching it more, that it’s going to be on network TV, and that it’s going to grow more.”
Watch Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show defend Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. for controversial comments he recently made on a sports podcast that many on social media deemed ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynistic.’
Porter Jr., who won an NBA Championship with the Nuggets last season, was on Ryan Clark’s ‘The Pivot’ podcast discussing the flailing ongoing desires of WNBA players wanting the same percentage share of revenue from their sport that NBA players receive, including bigger cuts of TV deals, jersey sales, and other sponsorships.
Porter Jr. came under fire when analogizing the WNBA to ping pong, saying just because WNBA stars are very talented and the best at what they do, a ‘famous ping pong player’ can be just as talented as any other athlete in the world, yet never receive the same financial compensation because it simply comes down to ‘what the people want to watch.’
Gottlieb said of Porter Jr’s comments ‘what was said wrong?’, and questioned why WNBA players would demand a higher percentage of the WNBA’s ‘revenue’ when there's 'zero revenue' to speak of, adding that even the Women’s NCAA Tournament, which is already more popular than the WNBA and garnered immense attention last year after Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s title game run-in, is still only worth around $60 million to a television network, compared to $770 million for the men’s NCAA Tournament.
Check out the segment above as Gottlieb also calls out some of Porter’s Jr.’s loudest critics on X, saying they’re ‘phonies’ who know what Porter Jr. is saying is true, but are just bored individuals desperate to feel like they’re fighting for some divisive social cause.