WNBA ripped to shreds over Kelsey Plum's ridiculous All-Star MVP trophy
Chicago, Illinois - The Windy City hosted the 2022 edition of the WNBA All-Star weekend, and though the league's stars did not disappoint, the league's officials certainly did.
After constant and sustainable growth in recent years, there is no doubt that women’s basketball is developing in the right direction, and players are now receiving more attention nationally.
Still, sometimes this can be in spite of, rather than thanks to league officials, who are still prone to dropping the ball every now and again.
Case in point, after an amazing weekend of women hoops, the WNBA is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Having scored 30 points on Sunday for the victorious Team Wilson in her first All-Star appearance and tying the All-Star scoring record, Kelsey Plum of the Las Vegas Lady Aces was honored with the All-Star Game MVP award – which is surely the smallest trophy a professional league has ever seen.
Plum's tiny trophy, which some compared to an elementary school participation award, quickly sparked controversy on social media that led to the discussion of the lack of equality between the NBA and WNBA.
Fans calls out WNBA for tiny trophy
Considering the work these athletes put in, it was pretty jarring to see such a small trophy for the prestigious honor and fans took to Twitter to express those thoughts.
Many mocked the league over Plum's "sippy cup" trophy and were straight-up disappointed with the treatment doled out to an All-Star.
"I know the WNBA don’t produce the same revenue as the NBA but man they can get them a bigger all star game trophy wtf. They was giving me trophies that size as a kid, and I sucked," One user tweeted.
Other users found similar-looking cups on Amazon and other vendors, products which cost as little as $18.
In comparison to the NBA MVP trophy awarded to male basketball players, Plum's scaled about eight times smaller.
It all falls into a wider conversation in which fans are calling on WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert to start giving the players better incentives for their elite skill and achievements.
As some have pointed out, Brittney Griner's horrific situation is not unconnected to economic conditions that force many female players to supplement their income through overseas contracts during the US off season. The Phoenix Mercury star, who has been detained in Russia for almost five months, was a big part of the All-Star game as players displayed her name and her number – 42 – on their jerseys.
The WNBA is expanding to 40 games next season, so the direction of travel is definitely upwards, but moments like these show there's still a lot of work to be done.
Cover photo: Stacy Revere / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP