Equal Pay Issues Among Athletes


Kendrick Sterling, Staff Writer

Why is it that female athletes are paid less than male athletes?

Female professional athletes are paid a far less amount of money than male professional athletes. The highest paid female athlete in 2019 was Serena Williams, being paid 29.2 million dollars. The highest paid male athlete in 2019 was Lionel Messi, earning 127 million dollars. The gap here is quite substantial.

Below lists the average difference in pay between men and women in sports:

WNBA: $79,000     NBA: $7.7 million

NWSL: $16,358      MLS: $345,867

NPF: $5,500           MLB: $4.36 million

LPGA: $141, 428    PGA: $628,079

These are only a few examples. Female athletes deserve to be given as much respect as male athletes. Women soccer players don’t just get less money, but fewer bonuses. According to witi.com, male players will receive a bonus for simply showing up to a game, while female players will receive a bonus after competing in 20 friendly games. To compare some more, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Team was rewarded $9 million for making it to the round of 16, but the women’s team for the 2015 FIFA World Cup was rewarded $2 million for winning. How does this seem fair and just?

There are a couple of factors that weigh into this problem. Sporting events involving women are not on television or social media as much as men’s sporting events. Also, not many women hold governing positions when it comes to sports. One reason why female soccer players are paid less is that their sport makes less money.

There have been steps taken to end this major issue. According to nbcnews.com, WNBA players have set up a new contract that now says that players that are the best of the best can earn more than three times their original salary. This is a great step in the right direction.

Hopefully one day this issue will not be so big as it is today. Let’s fight for equal pay!