Women athletes should get paid closer to what men get paid and, in some circumstances, equal. According to Rosamond Hutt from weforum.org, Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest paid male soccer player, earning $88 million, including sponsorships and endorsements. While the highest paid female soccer player, Alex Morgan, makes around $2.8 million.
When you compare money earned by Ronaldo and Morgan, it becomes apparent the pay gap is huge. This gap comes down to popularity, including television rights and endorsements.
In order to pay women more, women’s sports, like soccer, need to be televised just as much as men’s to grow popularity and money.
According to the Global Sport Report 2016, in the 2014 men’s World Cup, the winning federation earned $576 million dollars while the winning federation of the 2015 women’s World Cup, the U.S.A., earned $15 million. The women’s World Cup was televised worldwide, just like the men’s.
After winning the 2015 women’s World Cup, the U.S.A. woman’s national soccer team complained they should get a bonus. They argued they had out-performed the men’s national team, who didn’t make it past the first knockout round and didn’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup. The women won the case and got a small stipend.
Pay gaps across gender have been a talking point for many years now. There are multiple sports where the gap is vast, then some which aren’t as bad. Some tournaments, such as Wimbledon, pay men and women equally. But the main money is not from winning the tournament, it’s from getting endorsed by corporate sponsors.
The commercialization of sport is one of the main factors in pay discrepancy. In tennis, males and females earn the same amount of prize money for winning a Grand Slam, but the top male players earn a lot more in sponsorship and endorsements. The sports with the biggest global gender pay gaps include basketball, cricket, golf and football. These sports are rarely ever televised on the woman’s side but are all televised worldwide when the men play.
In 2016, the NBA MVP Steph Curry made $11.4 million compared to the 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwuimike who made $95,000.
When you look at the difference between the wages of the captains from the men’s and woman’s national teams for soccer, it becomes clear the men earn a lot more than the women.
Atiba Hutchinson from the men’s Canadian national soccer team earns $1.4 million a year while Christine Sinclair from the women’s Canadian national soccer team earns $50, 000 per year.
According to Ladbrokes Sports, former England soccer captain Wayne Rooney earned a massive $400,000 a week wage, while the female England national team captain, Steph Houghton, earned around $1,600 a week.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand became the youngest golfer in 2015 to be ranked number one. In that year, she earned less money than the 25th ranked golfer on the men’s side.
A study of 68 different disciplines published by BBC Sport says a total of 83 per cent of sports are now rewarding men and women equal prize money. That is 35 out of 44 sports, which is good news. But with the World Cup coming up, it’ll be interesting to see how much the winners earn. The women’s World Cup takes place next year and we will see if the winning federation makes anything near to what the men earn.
But the gap has been closing. Women’s events with the biggest prize money rise since 2014 include the FA Cup Final, Beach volleyball final and Cycling World Team Time Trial.
The FA Cup final in soccer has seen a 400 per cent pay increase for the club who wins it. The Beach volleyball final has seen a 250 per cent pay increase since the 2017 tournament, while the Cycling World Team Time Trial which took place in Norway last year, has seen a 225 per cent pay increase for this year.
Looking back at these statistics, female athletes should earn more money in wages. For this to happen, women’s sports need more sponsorships and their games need to be televised more frequently.
Sports enthusiasts should talk to television stations and ask, why don’t they broadcast female sports more often? Televising women sports more would increase the popularity vastly.