Women Deserve Equal Pay In Sports

Sarah Willson, Editor-in-Chief

The gender gap regarding equal pay has drawn attention in recent years. That attention, however, has resulted in little towards pay equity. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the pay gap between males and females remained the same over the past few years, while the gap between women of color and white men actually has only widened.

The pay gap between male and female athletes also follows this trend.

In the 2017 Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes, only one of the 100 was a woman. In the 21st century, that is unacceptable.

Income inequality has become such an issue in sports that the United States women’s soccer team filed a complaint with the federal government in 2016, complaining they were being paid less than their male counterparts, according to PBS.

The claim came after the women’s 2015 World Cup Championship where it was concluded that “women earned four times less than the men while performing demonstrably better.” The U.S. Men’s team, PBS said, have not advanced past the women since 1930. Nevertheless, the lack of pay is inexcusable.

The New York Times also reported that “women excoriated a compensation and bonus structure that they said tilted heavily in favor of the men.” Aside from that, it was concluded that the women’s teams also brought in “millions” of dollars in revenue, $23 million more than men, for that year.

Fast-forward to 2018 and women have received a 30 percent increase and bonus that, according to the Women’s Media Center, could double some players salaries. Still, the pay gap is not entirely closed.

But pay inequality is not just happening in soccer. Tennis superstar Serena Williams topped the chart for the highest-paid female athlete, bringing in $18.1 million in 2018. Male tennis player Roger Federer’s yearly salary totaled $70 million in total earnings in 2018.

Just $62,000 of Williams’ $18.1 million earned comes from prize money, or money earned on the court. As for Federer, he earned over $3 million on the court in 2018 (both numbers per Forbes).

Both are considered the best of the best in the tennis world, so the fact that Williams is making nearly $52 million less a year shows a blatant disregard for equality.

The WNBA also sees a substantial decline in pay as compared to the NBA. Phoenix Suns player Devin Booker will earn $27 million next season. In comparison, A’ja Wilson of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces will earn a little over $50,000, 100 percent less than Booker. Though the NBA generates a lot more money than the WNBA, which allows more money for the players in the NBA, that alone is a reflection of women’s sports in general.

There is no reason to believe that men work harder than women in sports, and there is no reason to believe that women do not play as well, either. The same goals hang in the balance for both genders- to be the best you can possibly be.