Despite the increasing number of women sporting professionals, statistics indicate that female athletes are still paid much less than their male counterparts. Let’s discuss why female athletes are still not getting the same pay as their male counterparts and what needs to be done to bridge the gap of inequality.


There’s no question that women have been fighting for equality in the workplace for years. But when it comes to sports, the fight for equal pay has been largely ignored – until now.

There is a sizable wage discrepancy between male and female athletes in the United States, with women earning just 82% of what men make, according to a new report by espnW and the National Women’s Law Center.

This disparity is even more glaring when you consider that women’s sports are often more popular than men’s sports. For example, the 2015 Women’s World Cup final was the most-watched soccer game ever in the U.S., with over 25 million viewers tuning in.

Why then don’t women earn what they deserve? There are several variables at work, including outdated stereotypes about women’s sports, Lack of investment in women’s sports, and The fact that many women’s sports leagues are not run as businesses (meaning they don’t generate enough revenue to support higher salaries for players).

But whatever the reason, it’s clear that something needs to change. Female athletes should not be paid less than their male counterparts – period.

History of the Gender Pay Gap in Sports

Women have, without a question, been working for equality in the workforce for a very long time. Though there is still a pay discrepancy between men and women in sports, it still favours the former.

The first recorded instance of this inequity dates back to the early 1900s, when tennis player Marion Jones was paid just $600 to compete in the U.S. National Championship, while her male counterpart received $2,500 for winning the same tournament.

Billie Jean King made history by being the first woman to be paid equally to a man when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Despite this triumph, men’s sporting events remained to dominate the professional scene, and female athletes still received lower pay than their male counterparts.

It wasn’t until the passage of Title IX in 1972 that girls and young women began to gain greater access to opportunities in athletics. However, even with this progress, female athletes are still not receiving commensurate pay for their contributions to their sport.

In 2015, Serena Williams made headlines when she revealed that she had been paid $24 million less than her male counterpart (Novak Djokovic) over the course of her career despite having won more Grand Slam titles than him.

This disparity is not unique to tennis; female athletes across all sports continue to earn less than their male counterparts. In 2019, it was reported

Factors That Contribute to the Unequal Pay Gap

The disparity in sports salaries is a result of a variety of variables. One of the most significant is the fact that women’s sports are not as well-funded as men’s. This lack of funding means that women’s teams often have to make do with less money for things like travel, training, and equipment. This can put them at a disadvantage when competing against men’s teams who have more resources.

The fact that women’s sports are not as well-liked as men’s sports is another factor that adds to the pay disparity. This means that they generate less revenue, which translates into lower salaries for female athletes. Additionally, sponsors are often more interested in investing in men’s teams and events, further perpetuating the pay gap.

 sadly, discrimination still plays a role in the unequal pay gap. Women have historically been undervalued compared to their male counterparts, and this has translated into lower wages across many industries. In some cases, women are simply not offered the same opportunities as men, which can limit their earning potential.

Ultimately, these factors combine to create a large pay gap between male and female athletes. There is still a long way to go before women are treated equally in the world of sports, despite recent efforts to bridge this gap.

Examples of Unequal Pay Practices Across Different Sports Leagues

There are numerous examples of unequal pay practices across different sports leagues. In some cases, women are paid less than men for doing the same job. In other cases, women are paid less than men for jobs that are of equal or greater importance.

For instance, in tennis, male players receive significantly more prize money than female players at all four of the Grand Slam tournaments. This disparity is even more pronounced at Wimbledon, where the winner of the men’s singles tournament takes home nearly twice as much prize money as the winner of the women’s singles tournament.

In soccer, the gender pay gap is also evident. The best-paid player in Major League Soccer (MLS) is a man, while the best-paid player in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a woman. However, when comparing their respective salaries on a per-game basis, the NWSL player earns just 38% of what her MLS counterpart does.

Even in sports where there is no direct head-to-head competition between male and female athletes, such as golf and auto racing, there remains a glaring gender pay gap. For example, while both Tiger Woods and Danica Patrick are considered to be among the greatest golfers and racers of their generation respectively, Woods has earned over $1 billion dollars in prize money and endorsements during his career while Patrick has earned just a fraction of that amount.

Why Women Aren’t Getting Paid What They Deserve

There are many reasons why women in sports aren’t getting paid what they deserve. One reason is that women’s sports simply don’t generate as much revenue as men’s sports.There are fewer women’s professional leagues than there are men’s leagues, and these leagues typically receive less media attention than men’s leagues, among other reasons for this. As a result, women’s sportswear companies make less money, meaning that they can’t afford to pay their female athletes as much as they could their male ones.

Another reason why women in sports aren’t getting paid equally is that society still values men’s sports more than women’s sports. This is evident in the way that media covers different sporting events; for example, male athletes are often given more airtime and greater coverage than female athletes, even if they’re playing in the same league. This creates a perception that men’s sports are more important or more exciting to watch than women’s sports, which means that businesses are less likely to invest in sponsoring or promoting women’s teams.

In the end, institutional as well as societal issues are to blame for the disparity in sports salaries. Women will continue to be paid less than males for performing the same job until we confront these concerns head-on.

Solutions for a Better Future

It is unfair that men and women in sports currently earn different salaries. There are numerous causes of this issue, but there are numerous potential answers as well.

One way to close the pay gap is by increasing funding for women’s sports. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as corporate sponsorships, private donations, and government support. Increasing funding will not only allow for higher salaries for female athletes, but will also enable more opportunities for women to participate in sport at the highest level.

Another solution is to increase media coverage of women’s sports. This will help to raise the profile of female athletes and create more interest in their competitions. This could lead to increased sponsorship opportunities and, ultimately, higher salaries.

There are many other potential solutions to the pay gap issue in sports. What is most important is that action is taken to address the problem. With continued effort and commitment, it is possible to close the pay gap and create an equal playing field for all athletes.


In conclusion, it is clear that the unequal pay gap in sports exists and is a result of both sexism and discrimination. While strides have been made to close the gap, much more needs to be done for women to get paid what they deserve. Hopefully, with continued awareness and activism, this goal can be achieved.


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