Women’s Sports Deserve Equal Pay

There’s always been a debate as to why women don’t get paid as high as men. I’m here to tell you that everyone deserves equal pay no matter their gender.

Women’s Sports Deserve Equal Pay

 Are females getting an equal amount of pay as males? Highly doubtful. To this day, women are still heavily underpaid when it comes to sports. Many arguments have surfaced that females aren’t as good as males, and that’s why they don’t deserve the amount of money that men make. That shouldn’t matter, everyone should be paid the same for professional sports no matter their gender or abilities. If you’re good enough to make a professional team, then you should be getting paid at a professional level. Ticket sales also play a big role in why women don’t get paid as much. Many supporters would rather watch male sports over female sports due to the competitiveness and atmosphere they come with, but women’s sporting events have a huge difference in ticket prices than male sporting events. If people would take the time to get to know female athletes and show support I think ticket sale outcomes would be different. Female athletes are underestimated, but women have always been underestimated not just in sports. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as the NCAA typically spends twice more on men’s sports than women’s sports. Most of the NCAA’s money goes to D1 football for men. There is even a 23% difference between men’s and women’s sports, nearly 35 million dollars that women’s sports are missing out on. Male sports bring in so much revenue through television, social media, and events. Instead of these male athletes making millions and millions of dollars a year, they should cut some of their salaries to a smaller portion and use that money to help female sports out. Not only should players’ wages be less, but male coaches as well. Female athletes and their associations find it hard to maintain good coaches, with valuable knowledge to make them better athletes because they aren’t paying enough to keep coaches around. Being a college and professional-level coach requires an abundance of time. This is a huge factor and low pay can be detrimental to obtaining good coaches. 

According to Adelphi University, the differences in pay we’re utterly heartbreaking. On average, a player for the National Basketball Association makes roughly $8 million dollars a year, while a player for the Women’s National Basketball Association brings in an estimated $75 thousand a year, in 2019. The salary women make while playing basketball is almost identical to working a regular 9-5 job Monday through Friday. This is how it is for all women’s sports, not just basketball. The National Womens Soccer League players agreed to a minimum salary of $35,000 a year with only a 4% increase in yearly raises. Meaning they make approximately $37,000 a season. Players have the opportunity to gain bonuses in their season, for example, an athlete can obtain $1,000 if they win their season, and the runner-up will get $500 for each player. If you look at the MLS (Major League Soccer) you will notice that male athletes who play soccer at a professional level make almost seven times the amount of that, earning a whopping $250,000 a season with the opportunity to attain bonuses the same way women can.

Megan Rapinoe

There have been many female athletes that have stood up for themselves, their teammates, and their coaches when it comes to equal pay in sports. I played soccer for about 11 years and it’s given me a huge understanding of equal pay and how hard women are discriminated against when it comes to sports. I’ve always acknowledged how hard the United States Womens National Team has fought for equal pay for their players and future generations of female athletes. Players like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have slowly started making a change in equal pay agreements by taking a stand for what they believe they deserve. Both of the players play for the national team and have been very outstanding athletes during their careers. After a six-year fight, the national team feels the pay they are finally earning is much more sufficient than in previous seasons. In 2016, a complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The intent of this complaint was because the team felt they were gender discriminated against when it came to receiving equal pay.  Morgan and Rapinoe were a part of that lawsuit in hopes of a change. In 2022, the national team agreed to a deal with the U.S Soccer Federation that would give the players $24 million dollars, and moving forward they would promise equal pay between the men’s and women’s national teams. 

Alex Morgan

Yet in 2019, another lawsuit was filed against U.S. Soccer Federation over the World Cup that happened in 2015. The team claimed they were only paid a total of $1.72 million dollars after winning the World Cup. The men’s national team was paid a total of $5.375 million dollars after getting eliminated in the 16th round. After much back and forth with this new lawsuit, the lawyers of the athletes decided to appeal the decision. 

Although not every woman athlete is getting the same amount of pay as male athletes, things seem to be looking bright for the future of female athletes.