By Alanna McDonough-Rice
In sports it is known that men’s sports make far more money than women’s sports. Since the beginning of time, players have fought to get better wages and better deals, but people have been putting women’s sports on the back burner for years. They think it won’t make money or have a fan base, but these sports have the same size fan base as men’s sports.
People consider women’s sports less lucrative, even though the WNBA is doing better than the NBA did at the same point in time. 20 years into the WNBA, there are 7,500 people in attendance at games, which is better than 20 years into the NBA. Women’s sports are a “viable business” yet it is not viewed as one. In tennis Roger Federer makes 700 thousand while Serena Williams makes 450 thousand. There is no valid reason why Williams makes about 68 cents on the dollar for playing the same game and having the same level of popularity.
Women need to stand up for equal and better pay. Billie Jean King commented on the pay gap and Ban deodorant offered equal pay. It took a long time for others to follow, but when women stand up to the advertisers and employers- they will get better pay. Players like Jazmine Reeves have “breakout years” in soccer or their respective sport, yet they can’t live off of their salary. Reeves could have had the opportunity to go to a national team camp, but instead she quit and took a job at Amazon. Women have better pay in tech, even though STEM fields have been male dominated since the beginning, than in women’s sports.
While FIFA is a “profoundly sexist” organization with their pay rate being 30-1 men to women, women are starting to speak up. The women’s national soccer team is suing U.S. Soccer for equal, if not more, pay since they are generating more money than the men’s team. Women’s sports are proven to be lucrative and powerful. There is truly no reason to pay them less, except sexist, misogynistic excuses.
Hopefully the women’s soccer team sets a precedent like Billie Jean King and women’s sports will start receiving equal pay for all their hard work. The fans of each and every female sport would be saddened to know that the wages their favorite player is receiving is barely enough to cover their lifestyle. With strong women, a strong fan base, and continued support and drive, women will receive the wages they deserve. One day the gap will close, but only with empowered women who will not settle for less.