Out of the top 100 paid athletes, only one is a woman – Serena Williams. Tennis is one of the few sports that pays equally at the top levels for premier events like an Open. Even with that opportunity, she’s number 68.
While pay may be the same at top-level events, the difference in overall income is often endorsement deals. Even if female athletes are paid at each event equally, if they do not have similar endorsement deals, which they do not, they will still be paid significantly less.
For those sports where there is not equality, the disparity is significant. In basketball, women are paid 10% of what their male counterparts are paid on average. A starting woman may be paid $50K while a starting man receives $5M.
In the case of golf and soccer, the overall winnings made available to women are a fraction of men’s winnings. Losing men bring home more prize money than winning women time and again. For example, a PGA player could come in 10thand still bring home more prize money than the winning LPGA player.
That’s exactly the case with the US Women’s National Team, who I recently watched play against Korea during their Victory Tour. The women brought home less money winning the World Cup (again) than their male counterparts that dropped out in round 16. Pay for performance is clearly not in place.
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