The Daily Beast

Jenna Gyimesi | Oberlin College

Equal play, for unequal pay. Professional female and male athletes compete at the highest level. The skills, and athleticism exhibited in female and male athletes is extensive but the genders are compensated for their elite performance in inconsistent ways.

The pay gap in many sports is extensive. In the United States, NBA athletes earn 100 times more than WNBA athletes. The combined pay of all the female soccer players in the top seven leagues is equivalent to the paycheck of one singular Brazilian male football player. His salary is the same as the summation of 1,693 female soccer players from the United States, France, Germany, England, Sweden, Australia and Mexico combined.

Male sporting leagues are followed by the public more closely than their female counterparts in many cases. As a result, male sports are more commercialized and profitable. Male sports may be given more attention, but that does not mean that that attention is justified.

Women athletes should be given the same respect, and praise that male athletes receive. Both genders participate in dangerous, and highly competitive events. All professional athletes train at the most advanced level. Professional athletes of any gender must keep their bodies in top physical condition, and must risk significant injury. Both genders should be valued for their accomplishments but only one gender is shown appreciation.

Consumers and organizations can make efforts to end pay inequality. Some sporting organizations recognize that the athletic accomplishments of both genders should be equally valued. For example, men and women are paid the same amount in major international tennis tournaments.   

How can consumers help decrease the pay gap? Start watching. Women’s sports are equally as entertaining and impressive as men’s events. If you do not believe me, see for yourself. Start buying female athletes merchandise, start talking about the successes of your local teams, and start caring about the accomplishments of female athletes. 

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