New York Liberty threatened by WNBA due to charter flights

New York Liberty were thrown into the WNBA penalty area for daring to provide their players with a better flying stay.

Sports Illustrated Reported that Liberty was fined $500,000 To break league rules to provide the team with charter flights paid for by Joe and Clara Wu Tsai. The team’s trip to Napa was also considered an unauthorized advantage.

“Can your companions do this????” Freedom star Sabrina Ionescu Asked on TikTokShare a video of your Napa trip.

The fine isn’t quite that great for the Tsai family – Ju Tsai as well He is listed as the ninth richest person in the world by Forbes with an estimated net worth of $8.7 billion, which is A $157 Million Bought A Brooklyn Apartment Last July.

However, Liberty was threatened with much more dire consequences.

Sabrina Ionescu, her New York Liberty teammate.
NBAE via Getty Images

After someone alerted the WNBA about Liberty violations, possible solutions put forward by the league’s general counsel, Jamin Dershowitz, ranged from losing “every draft pick I’ve ever seen” to suspending ownership, and even “reasons for terminating the franchise,” according to September 21, 2021. The connection between the league and Liberty,” SI reported.

Many observers believe this is a problem. It sounds like an issue we’re used to hearing in NCAA circles rather than in professional sports.

The issue at hand is that the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement bans charter flights, calling it a competitive advantage.

According to SI, about half of the league’s teams are profitable. There is a bit of a split between old Guard owners and newer ones like Tsais (who own the Brooklyn Nets) and Mark Davis (the Raiders owner who also controls the Las Vegas Aces), who own other professional sports teams and seem surprised by the restrictions on player amenities.

Liberty charter flights
Joe Tsai (c.) and Clara Wu Tsai (left) during a Nets-Raptors game on February 28, 2022.
Charles Wenselberg/New York Post
Joe Tsai Kevin Durant
Joe Tsai and Kevin Durant at the New York Liberty game
NBAE via Getty Images

The economics of the WNBA will be a surprise to many.

Tsais bought Liberty, on the largest market in America, for somewhere in the range of $10-14 million in 2019, According to CNBC.

The maximum salary for the entire WNBA is $1.3 million, which is why he raised eyebrows when Davis gave Becky Hammon seven figures a year to coach the Aces.

“[A]hhh yes theWNBA where a head coach can charge 4 times the Super Max contract for the highest paid players. lmao and you guys think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to go games out of my pocket,” WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage Tweet in February.

The issue of Liberty and charter flights could be a wild enough story to break through and generate some awareness about WNBA player compensation and the lack of other amenities.

“WNBA owners should be able to invest in their team by providing better working conditions,” he said. SNY anchor Maria Marino tweeted. “If the other owners don’t want it, and that puts their club at a competitive disadvantage, then it’s on them. This is about female math appreciation.”

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