The WNBA star’s rookie contract has sparked discourse among fans, athletes, celebrities — and now, the president

President Joe Biden Comments on Caitlin Clark's WNBA Salary, Saying 'Women Are Not Paid Their Fair Share'

From Left: President Joe Biden and Caitlin Clark. Photo:Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty; Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty

Caitlin Clark’s recent jump to the WNBA has garnered all the fanfare this week. But the Indiana Fever star is not receiving the proper salary, according to sports critics — including President Joe Biden.

Discussions were raised across social media this week about women athletes and their salaries, particularly in the WNBA, after news broke that Clark, 22, will make a total of $338,056 in her first four years in the league.

Biden, 81, joined the conversation by posting on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Tuesday, April 16, criticizing the country’s wage gap when it comes to women and men, pointing out Clark as a primary example.

“Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all. But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share,” the president said, per the post. “It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve.”

Clark, the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer in both men’s and women’s basketball, was selected No.

1 overall by Indiana at Monday night’s WNBA Draft in Brooklyn.

Spotrac later reported that Clark will make $76,535 in the first year of her contract, $78,066 in her second, then $85,873 in her third year, and $97,582 in 2027, her fourth year in the league. In total, that means the former Iowa Hawkeyes star will earn $338,056 throughout her first four years in the WNBA.

“That’s ridiculous,” one user replied to Spotrac’s post on X, which laid out Clark’s expected salary.

Fans and Celebrities React to Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Salary: ‘These Ladies Deserve More’

Caitlin Clark poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark.Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty

In comparison, Victor Wembanyama — the first overall pick in last year’s NBA draft — is expected to earn $55.7 million in his first four years in the men’s professional basketball league, according to Forbes.

The drastic differences in the NBA and WNBA contracts led to several sports stars and celebrities to speak out about the wage gap.

“These ladies deserve so much more…Praying for the day,” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson wrote in a post on X, while Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis wrote that the whole thing was “outrageous” alongside a post of an infographic that laid out the comparison between Clark and Wembanyama’s rookie contracts.

Caitlin Clark Selected First Overall by Indiana Fever During 2024 WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes shoots a free throw against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Quarterfinal Round of the Big Ten Tournament at Target Center on March 08, 2024

Caitlin Clark.Adam Bettcher/Getty

While the gap in pay has drawn backlash, many sports reporters, including Sarah Spain and Jemele Hill, pointed out that NBA and WNBA players’ salaries are ultimately tied to how much money the league makes. The NBA has had “a 48-year head start” at building its viewership and attendance, Spain explained in a post on X.

WNBA fans hope an increase in interest in women’s basketball, boosted in large part over the last two seasons by Clark’s stardom, will eventually lead to larger salaries.

Regardless, the side-by-side comparison between Clark’s salary with her NBA counterparts has shocked many fans.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

On TODAY, co-anchor Hoda Kotb was taken aback when she read the vast difference between Clark’s salaries when compared to an NBA player’s entry-level contract. “When I saw the number, $76,000 in the first year and $78,000 in the second year, and $85,000 in the third year, for somebody who is now the face of women’s basketball, it seemed kind of ridiculous,” Kotb said during Tuesday’s episode.

Kotb’s co-host Jenna Bush Hager said “the gap is so jarring.” The co-host added, “We’re talking about equal pay. That ain’t even close.”