Culture July 31, 2017
Support women in sports!
Are you a fan of women in sports? Do you watch WNBA games, LPGA tournaments and tennis matches?
Well, do you know that female athletes can make up to 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn?
It doesn’t matter which industry it is, we know that the gender pay gap exists. However, rarely do we hear about how the gender pay gap affects female athletes.
Male athletes, whether it be at the collegiate or professional level, bring in bigger audiences than females. And, clearly, that affects the pay that professional female athletes receive.
According to Forbes, the WNBA team cap in 2012 was $878,000. However, for the 2015-2016 season, the NBA’s team cap was $70 million. In addition, the WNBA minimum salary for the 2015 season was $38,000 with the maximum salary being $109,500.
In contrast, the NBA minimum salary for the 2015-2016 season was $525,093, and the maximum salary was $16.407 million. In the NCAA, male athletes receive 55 percent of the college scholarships, meaning only 45 percent is left for the female athletes.
Looking at the contrast in salaries for professional athletes can surprise people. But, looking at the difference in attendance that the two leagues bring in, it’s no wonder that the NBA has higher team caps. In 2015, the WNBA’s average attendance fell to 7,318 people, whereas, two decades before the average was 10,864.
These pay gaps aren’t just seen in the basketball leagues. As shown below, this happens in multiple sports. Whether it’s golf or soccer, those athletes also suffer from a pay gap. And, even more, there’s also a lack of women representation on committees such as the Olympic one.
And to make things worse, it’s not like this topic isn’t publicly discussed. Last February U.S. Soccer sued the union that was representing the players with a no-strike clause. However, in March some of the players, including Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd decided to go public.
They filed a federal complaint in which they accused U.S. Soccer for wage discrimination. The women were earning roughly a quarter of what their male counterparts were earning, although the made $20 million more in revenue than what the male teams brought in.
Later, they were able to come to somewhat of an agreement. Some of the players felt empowered because they knew it was a hot topic being talked about. However, even with them reaching this new agreement, it doesn’t mean that something won’t arise in 2021 when their collective bargaining agreement is up.
So, it seems that one of the biggest problems, in some sports, is not having enough fans. If you’re someone who enjoys sports, and would like to see more women in them, then here are some things to do:
Some women love playing sports, and it’s important that they feel supported. If all sports fans do their part to get female athletes the representation that they deserve, then maybe we will see changes in the gender pay gap and their representation on T.V.
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