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.