Count Allison Feaster, a former WNBA standout and current Celtics director of player development, as pleased with the WNBA’s new collective bargaining agreement that elevates conditions and salaries for players to unprecedented heights.
The league and players association agreed to a deal Tuesday, ensuring every player earns at least six figures and receives paid maternity leave. The deal also improves travel and hotel amenities for players. Feaster played 10 years in the WNBA for three teams, her final stop being the Indiana Fever in 2008.
“It looks like it’s something really positive for the league,” she said. “I see it as growth, moving towards a more mature league. I definitely think it’s always great when you can form a league that’s 20-plus years old.
“What really struck me was as a highlight was the full salary for maternity leave.”
Feaster gave birth to her daughter, Sarah, during her WNBA career.
“That was a real plus,” she said. “I don’t know if ‘long overdue’ was the way I would describe it but I would describe it as ‘well-deserved’ for the upgrades for some of the top athletes in the world.”
The new deal will also include a training program for players who have front office and coaching aspirations. Feaster entered an NBA-sponsored program following her career overseas.
She was hired by the Celtics in July.
“Those are always positive things,” she said. “Across the NBA, they really focus on helping athletes transition from the playing court to off court, so I am a beneficiary of one of those programs. If they improved the program for WNBA players, it’s a win.
“I think it’s ground-breaking for women’s sports and the WNBA, so kudos to the players and the WNBA leadership that got the deal done.”