Should Women Athletes Get Paid The Same As Men Athletes?
-Evelyn L., Grade 8
It's astonishing to think that only 1 in 3 women worked in the 1950’s and now 49% of all workers in the U.S. are female in the year 2017. Even though there has been a significant growth, there is still pay differences between genders. Equal pay has become a major controversy recently. Some believe that the wage gap isn’t a big deal and it's not the fault of anyone but the women who want more money. Others believe that the difference isn’t fair, that all women deserve equal pay for equal work. Is it fair that women earn less than men, or not?
There needs to be change!
For centuries, women were forced to accept the “status quo” where they were genetically and mentally inferior to men. Now women have proven that they can’t be forced into a box full of stereotypes and that the new “normal” is women are just as good as men. The sports industry has gender wage gaps millions of dollars apart. The highest paid NBA player is James Harden who makes over 28 million dollars annually. Now you would think the NBA’s other half, the WNBA, would make at least close to that. Nope! The highest paid WNBA player is Nneka Ogwumike who only makes close to 1 million dollars annually. That's still a lot, but for an athlete that puts the same amount of blood, sweat, and tears into each practice and game, it seems like they deserve better pay. Women have had to work to be noticed and respected for many, many years, but yet there is still no improvement in their pay.
You can speak your voice and stand up with these women to make this a movement. It's not right that our fellow sisters have to suffer, as women we need to stick together. If we don't do something about this now, later on, it may get worse for our future sisters to come. We live in the 21st century, stereotypes shouldn’t matter anymore. Let's take away the labels and stop focusing on the gender of the athlete that we see out on the court or on the field and start focusing on what really matters, the talent and dedication that we see in those athletes. If athletes were paid by the amount of blood, sweat, and tears they put into each and every game, the men might be on this end of the stick, not women.
Not our fault
For more than a century, women have been able to participate in sports. Sports industries have given the same opportunities to men as they do women. However, women just haven’t been able to grab hold of those opportunities the way men have been able to embrace them. It is proven that men sports teams are more entertaining than women sports. Tell me, when you are flipping through TV channels, you are more likely to come across an NBA game than a WNBA game, right? You would most likely see a kid wearing a Kyrie Irving jersey or a Messi jersey, then a kid wearing a Candace Parker jersey, right? Because of that, men’s sports bring in more money, and they get more endorsements from big companies, allowing for greater profits. It's not the NBA players’ fault that they make more money than the WNBA players. It's also not the U.S. men’s soccer teams fault that more of their games are watched, they just have more fans. If women want to close this wage gap, they need to get out more, and get some more fans. The wage gap was not formed due to the difference in strength, education or appearance between the two genders, it's because men's sports have always been more entertaining, which brings in more money for the company. Sports have changed throughout time, and they will continue to change and improve, but it will only do that if athletes stop fretting or complaining about how much they make. Women athletes should let this pay difference go and start focusing on putting more effort and excitement into their games, and maybe then women athletes could get more fans, make more money and have equal pay. Besides, if it wasn't for the debate on equal pay, you probably wouldn't even know many women athletes.
Did you know that the US men's soccer team got paid more for losing the majority of their games than the women's soccer team got for winning the championship? Yet, on average the women's team sells around 11,000 tickets, while the men's team sells 28,000 tickets on average. Anyway, do you think its right that women get paid substantially less than men, or do women deserve what they get right now? Where do you stand for this dilemma?