Let’s Talk About the Gender Wage Gap in Sports

The gender wage gap has always been present in America. Throughout workplaces across the nation, women are paid to do similar, or even the same jobs as men but for a substantially lower amount. Professional female athletes are also facing the same ordeal. In the WNBA women on average make about $79,000 a year. This seems like a very reasonable amount of money until you look at what the average NBA player makes. Over 6 million dollars is the average amount of money a single player makes in the league, although the better players make a considerable amount more than this. Millions of dollars is a huge discrepancy between these two leagues. Many may argue that the NBA brings in more revenue and many of the players have their own endorsements, and while this may be true, it is important to take a look at another sport where this is not the case.

Soccer is the most watched sport in the entire world. The United States Women's National team has been very successful in its career, earning four world cup titles. The men's team has never won a title, however they continue to get paid more. The women's team also generates much more revenue and is overall a more successful program, however they get paid much less. The men's team makes over 13,000 dollars per game, while women only make over 4,000 dollars per game. Men are also paid much more for just making the roster on a national team than women are. This is hugely unfair because women bring in more money and see less of that money than anyone on the men's team does. There is no reason why this discrepancy should be occurring. Women's teams are being treated as if they are less important than men's teams, even though women are working just as hard as men in the same profession.

The only sport that even comes close to closing this wage gap is tennis. Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams are the highest paid female athletes of all time. This number still does not even come close to the amount that male athletes are able to make, but they do compare well with the men in their own sport. Osaka and Williams are both on the Forbes list of highest paid athletes, but don't even crack the top twenty.

The gender wage gap is an issue that will continue to plague the field of professional sports but needs to be looked at as a serious issue. Especially when certain female sports consistently bring in more money than their male counterparts such as the world of professional soccer. Women in sports are just as capable and hardworking as men and that needs to be reflected in the amount that they are being paid.

Sources:

https://www.blackenterprise.com/top-wnba-nba-salaries-2019/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20the%20average%20WNBA%20players,maximum%20salary%20caps%20at%20%24117%2C500.&text=Critics%2C%20however%2C%20argue%20that%20WNBA,in%20a%20whopping%20%247.4%20billion.

https://www.espn.com/sports/soccer/story/_/id/27175927/us-women-soccer-equal-pay-fight-latest-next

https://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/articles/2020-05-27/naomi_osaka_tops_forbes_list_of_highestpaid_female_athletes.html#:~:text=At%20just%2022%20years%20old,published%20by%20Forbes%20this%20week.