Inequality of Pay in Sports

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Inequality of Pay in Sports

This essay will address the ongoing issue of pay inequality in sports. It will examine the disparities between genders, the underlying reasons for this gap, and its broader implications for society and professional sports. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Gender.

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“In the quest for women to receive adequate resources, sponsorships and financial compensation you will always find yourself touching the very controversial topic of “inequality of pay in sports”. Sports has brought inequality of pay to an even more heighten level (Hutt, Pgf 4). Even though women in sports has been evolving around the world, the disparity of the financial pay gap has been present since women were introduced to sports (Clark, Section 13). Women have faced all the trials and tribulations that you can think of, yet we still continue to prosper.

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Everyone has their own perception of how women in sports should be viewed, although, what everyone does not know is how hard we work to even get noticed. There is more change that is bound to come, however, it is up to us to take action.

There is a huge gap between female versus male athletes in regards to accolades, compensation, benefits, entitlements and mostly financially (Hutt, Pgf 3 & 4). Women continuously fight for recognition of the intense discipline and commitment they display to compete and excel in sports. Even Though some may argue that the gender gap is fair because bring in more money, or others may say that women sports just aren’t as entertaining, competitive, or exciting, but it doesn’t make it right (Clark, Pgf 3). These female athletes are putting their blood, sweat and tears into this game like any other male playing a sport. These women shouldn’t have to become Maxim models to prove their worth (Clark, Section 14). Women can’t physically do everything a man can do because that’s how we are made, but the athleticism and size of women is definitely evolving and it’s about time financially it does to.

Whether its fan support, wages, television, merchandise, respect for work ethics, exposure or opportunities, women always receive the short end of the stick. When it comes to the gender pay gap and a greater inclusion to diversity women have to continue the fight. It not only empowers females but also helps produce tangible results. In analyzing the comparison of all the topics mentioned, you begin to see the proven facts of why women deserve and should receive equal exposure and economic support for equal labor in the career of sports.

Due to the male –biased demographics of television, women donInequality of Pay in Sports t get the same viewings as men which gives a perception that there is a very small audience (Cox, Section 13). For women sports to even try to compete with males their product needs greater publicity and sponsorships to market them on the same big television channels as men (Cox, Section 12). This plays a huge role for women financially. Numerous brands are starting to invest and promote more in women sports (Kidd, Section 21). Europeans have not adjusted the salaries of women and men athletes to be more compatible, however they have grown to offer equal prize money for championships (Edmond, Section 3, 4 & 5). These brands don’t realize that they are missing out on valuable new audiences by shying away from sponsoring women athletes (Kidd, Line 1).

In the article, “Separate but Equal? Women in Sports” by Lauren Mullins, December 14, 2009 on the Intro to Political Theory blog, it is discussed how fans may feel they will not receive the same level of competitiveness in as mixed male/female team (Mullins, Pgf 1). They feel men would degrade their level of competition by being less aggressive; resulting in a decrease in revenue due to a loss of fans (Mullins, Paragraph 4). Men would basically, not play to their full potential to avoid the possibility of injury to women (Mullins, Pgf 4). It’s proposed that combining male and female athletes could possibly make women play even harder and work to improve their skills (Mullins, Pgf 5). However, the accolades would be even harder to achieve for women due to the disadvantages of size and build compared to men (Mullins, Pgf 4). “Separate but Equal”, displays how the separation of male and female sports can be viewed as a disguise of a simple form of discrimination (Mullins, Pgf 7). Olympic International Committee (OIC) is a panel used to empower women and discuss the continued challenges in sports (, Pgf 1) According to OIC, gender equality has improved. (, Pgf 3) An example is the Youth Olympic Games kick off in Buenos Aires this year is the first fully gender-balanced Olympic event ever (, Pgf 2). This displays a forward momentum from the last few games and is expected to continue, with near total gender equality at almost 49 per cent of female representation forecasting for the Olympic Games Tokyo of 2020 (, Pgf 2). It may not seem like a big deal but it’s huge for women currently and young women coming up in sports. All of this may seem it might not play in role in women receiving money, but it all does. More exposure means more sales, which results in more revenue.

In 2015, while the three time winners of the Women’s World Cup soccer team made headlines for their brilliant performance, it also shined light on the significant gender pay gap (Clark, Pgf 1). The USA women were awarded $2 million for finishing in first place in comparison to the USA men who last year lost in round sixteen received 9 Million and the German men’s team received $35 million for winning (Clark, Pgf 2). The highest paid female athlete made $500 thousand in comparison to the men who can earn more than $50 million for salary and winnings (Clark, Pgf 4). Many female athletes make up the gender salary gap by taking sponsorships and even pursuing modeling careers (Clark, Pgf 4). Some of these professional women athletes do make more than some men but it comes from many sponsorships and endorsements (Clark, Pgf 7). “These have contributed to her popularity, and have significantly increased her net worth. But she is not adequately compensated for being the talented athlete she worked so hard to become” (Clark, Pgf 7). Numerous male athletes make a lot of money from endorsements as well but the difference is that they don’t need to, women have to (Clark, Pgf 8). While some may argue men sports generates more money and just more entertaining than women, there is still a reality that pay for all athletes should be equitable regardless of gender (Clark, Pgf 3).

The need for gender equality in sports is even displayed through sports media coverage. In 2017, there was only 0.4% of total commercial investments in women’s sports (Pavlovich, Fast Fact Section). In an article written on in 2017, it touched on 40% of America’s sports people were women, however women only sports-stories was only 3.5% in the four major US newspapers (Pavlovich, Pgf 5). Male athletes were receiving $179 million more a year for athletic scholarships and collegiate institutions were only spending 24% of the athletic operating budget on female sports (Pavlovich, Pgf 6). In an article written by David Cox, “Why are females athletes still paid less than males”, it discusses the minimal growth in the salary shortfall between women and men athletes. It was documented in January 2018 the only sport that you can find significant growth is tennis (Cox, Section 1 & 2). There was equal compensation for males and females competing in the tennis “Grand Slam” (Cox, Section 1 & 2). However, Serena Williams was the only female listed amongst the world’s highest paid athletes for 2017 (Cox, Section 4).

In spite of the very strong gender equality debate that occurs in the discussion of sports, male athletes have been very supportive as well as proactive in taken a stand for women equality. In wanting to take on some of the responsibility to help with women athletes receiving fair salary, benefits and sponsorships male athletes are using their high profile platforms to express the misfortunes and their support for change. Some athletes that come to mind are Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Kelly Slater, Andy Roddick, James Blake, etc. It has been a commendable effort from male athletes to assist with the fight for women equality. Several male athletes have used their sponsorships, interview time and media advertisement to express the resiliency in women athletes.

Gender Equality has made great improvements since Title IX was passed in 1972 (Kane, Pgf 1). Women participation in sports has increased drastically however, the fight for equitable compensation, benefits and entitlements still reflects a huge disparage between men and women (Kane, Pgf 14). Support and outreach are two vital methods in making people more knowledgeable (Kane, Pgf 13). Male athletes speaking out and using their high profile media attention to display their support to the female athlete is very influential for the cause and empowering for female athletes of future. Gender Equality in sports is a continuous fight for many years to come and the more people that speak out on the gaps and are committed to continuous research will strengthen the awareness that sports ownership needs to acknowledge and propose greater change.

Being a female collegiate athlete myself I have learned a lot. Thus far, over the course of my basketball playing career I have been coached by both male and female coaches. All of whom, taught me something that would lead me in the direction of success. Coaching women’s basketball to many outsiders seems to be a chore and looks as if it is way harder than coaching men’s basketball. Despite, what those on the outside of the four lines think, my coaches have always told me “you’re not gonna get all that you deserve because there will always be some who does not believe in what females can do on the court, however, your grind is just the same and I know you are up for the challenge”. In addition, they have told me “you never are out for the count and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, you can and you will”. These messages impacted me not only as an athlete, but as a woman. Women are not required to beat the odds, but I want to and I will. We all will prove to the world that women are just as powerful as men and can succeed at anything we please. Change will definitely come in all aspects.”

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Inequality of Pay in Sports. (2021, May 24). Retrieved from