By CHRIS CHAE
This is a clear issue of gender equality. Female athletes deserve just as much respect and pay as men do. Right now, the only woman on Forbes list of top 100 highest paid athletes in the world is Serena Williams at 63. Just ONE woman out of the 100 top paid world athletes. That’s just clear discrimination!
Women play the same sports, with the same competitive working conditions and expectations, and in some cases, bring in similar if not more attention.. They therefore deserve equal pay. The U.S. Women’s National Team has won 4 Olympic Gold Medals, 3 World Cups, and is ranked No. 1 compared to the Men’s U.S. National team who has won nothing, yet the women get paid just over one-third of what men get. The U.S. Soccer Federation guarantees female athletes 200,000 each for their first place performance at the World Cup while the U.S. Men’s national soccer team would have earned $1.1 million each for the same achievements. They do this while attracting significant U.S. viewership, as according to a statement from Fox Sports, approximately 14.3 million U.S. viewers watched the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final, compared to 11.4 million for the 2018 Men’s World Cup Final, a 22% boost.
In soccer, basketball, golf, and more, men get paid significantly more for playing the same sport that women do. This is due to unfair advertising and marketing advantages that men have historically had. Men get significantly more sponsorships and endorsements, which lead to better quality advertising and media coverage, which brings in more audience and revenue, which once again leads to more sponsorship. This positive cycle has not started for women because investors and big companies have historically already been helping Men’s sports. This causes womens sports to be neglected, and low quality slow camera angles don’t help one bit.
Women’s sports are also disparaged by society. According to The Nation, 90% of sports editors are men. No wonder women’s sports only receive 4% of sports media coverage. During NCAA Basketball March Madness, NCAA tweeted “when you find out there are no #MarchMadness games until Thursday,” with a gif of Ron Swanson throwing a computer” despite there being 8 women’s games during that time period.
Yes, there is scientific evidence from the National Institute of Health supporting that women are at a biological disadvantage due to less muscle by weight, 30-35% for women compared to 40-50% for men, a weaker upper body (52% as strong as men) and lower body (66% as strong as men). But just because women are weaker, does not mean that their efforts and talents should be disparaged. Women put in just as much time and effort to rise to the challenge that is sports, and society should respect that by giving equal pay.
It’s equality, not equity.
Equality is treating everyone the same. This is what is happening right now; respect is given where respect is due.
Equity is when everyone gets what they need. This is what female athletes want despite their lower ability and entertainment value.
Supporters of equal pay make the argument that men and women play the same sports. That’s just wrong. Men play two more innings in baseball and tennis, and lacrosse is no contact for women. Men play with a bigger ball in basketball, and the 3-point line is further away. Not only are the rules handicapped for women, men play with more impact. From big powerful dunks in basketball, to powerful checks in hockey and football, male sports are simply more interesting to watch. As much as you can argue that men’s and women’s sports are the same, the bottom line is that they aren’t and it should be reflected in the pay or else it’s not fair to men.
The U.S women’s national team scrimmaged the FC Dallas U-15 boys academy and lost 2-5. While yes, the U.S probably wasn’t going all out in this game since the purpose of a scrimmage is to work on small ideas such as defensive shape and attacking combinations; they lost to a boys under fifteen team. We can’t compare men and women’s sports together when the women’s team that represents the whole country loses to a group of kids who still get picked up and dropped off by their parents.
Men’s sports have so much better advertising and marketing because they deserve it; they simply bring in more revenue. This can be measured directly by attendance. Men’s Division 1 College Basketball averages 3 times the attendance of women’s games. The National Women’s Soccer League averages 6,024 attendance in 2018, while the Men’s Major League Soccer attendance was 21,692 in 2016.
While the U.S. Women’s National Team garnered a larger U.S. audience for the World Cup Final, this is to be expected. After all, U.S. viewers are much more likely to watch a sport if the U.S. team is competing. The Men’s Fifa World Cup in 2018 was between France and Croatia, with no patriotic ties to american citizens. The Men’s World Cup still drew significantly more viewership internationally, as according to Fifa, the Women’s World Cup Final had 260 million viewers internationally, while the Men’s Final had 1.12 billion worldwide viewers,
Many people argue that relative to their gender, the pay for men and women should be reflected evenly. This means that the top 5% of women athletes should be paid the same as the top 5% of men athletes, pay by meritocracy reflective of their own ability. This should not happen. Pay should be reflective of the revenue that they bring in. Money should be earned, not handed out as rations.
Women are no less athletes than men are. They in no way any less hardworking or talented. However, they do not deserve equal pay, unless they bring in equal revenue.