Are professional female athletes treated unfairly?

The world of women’s sports is rather new. We have seen plenty about them in recent years and the issue of equality. I believe in equality however I believe we need to look at the facts and decide whether it’s fair to both sides. Let’s say you’re working as a salesman for a paper company. You’re the top salesman and you make the company $500,000 in a year and they pay you $80,000 as a reward. Now let’s say you have a coworker who only made the company $90,000 a year. Do you believe that your co-worker should receive the same payment as you? We all see in the news and social media how people believe women athletes should be getting the same benefits and fame as men athletes. There are several reasons and data that support my opinion including that women sports are not nearly as popular as men’s, women’s sports rake in less revenue, and women’s sports have way more barriers than men. However there is a twist to my opinion the truth is, it is not completely their fault.

First off, Women’s sports are not nearly as popular as men’s sports, according to an article written by The Nation woman’s athletic coverage on television was merely 4%. This is because it just does not get the amount of views as a men’s athletic competition would. The media coverage is so low on women’s sports because simply not a lot of people watch them. Some of the best teams in the WNBA only average around 10,000 fans, while their counterpart the NBA averages 18,000 fans per team. Almost double the amount of people.

A second reason that ties into my first reason is how women’s sports do not rake in as much revenue as men’s. It is obvious that more people are aware and pay attention to men’s sports. According to a WSN article the WNBA only made a total of 60 million dollars in revenue while the NBA made a whopping 7.4 Billion dollars in revenue. You can not tell me that WNBA players should be making the same amount of money when the NBA rakes in 123 times more revenue than them. However it is not completely the woman’s fault. According to Crosscut The NBA spent around $624.9 million on advertising while the WNBA only spent a fraction of that.

A final reason is that women’s sports have way more barriers than men’s, which is also not their fault. In sports like Football, Hockey, and even Lacrosse, people like to watch the physicality of it and like to see the big hits and overall sheer force of some of these athletes. The sad fact is that in women’s sports you’re not allowed to make much contact or any contact in any of them. Whenever I have asked women about whether they would want to be able to hit in hockey, or if they think the women’s lacrosse rules of no contact are ridiculous, many state they would rather hit, and be able to be more physical. Some may say that women are not as competitive as men but I have met many women who are even more competitive than me and can see right through the stereotype that women are not strong enough or they’ll get hurt if they are too rough. It’s barriers like these which make it hard for fans to like watching, buy tickets, buying jerseys or other items of clothing.

In conclusion women’s sports is a complicated subject with many factors. I don’t believe they should be getting paid the same amount as their counterparts because they simply don’t rake in enough money in the first place. I also believe it’s not entirely their fault. Marketing and funding needs to improve and if we want anything to change the barriers need to be broken down in order to have movement.

Wyatt Pilkenton

Grand Rapids

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