Should male sportsperson earn more money than female counterparts?

Should male sportsperson earn more money than female counterparts?


At BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, the real game started off the court when CEO Raymond Moore made sexist comments at the expense of women tennis players asking them to thank God for all the publicity that the sports gets due to famous players like Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. This didn’t go down well with Serena Williams and other female tennis players who aptly answered Moore to the extent of making him apologize for his poor words.

If that wasn’t enough of a controversy, world’s top men’s player, Novak Djokovic added more fuel to fire by saying that men should fight for more money since their matches were more popular compared to the female counterparts’.

There have been outcry from various sports to support equal pay money for both men and women but it cannot be said that every sport advocates it. However, tennis does advocate equal prize money to male and female players to a greater extent. But since top notch players are asking for inequality, is there a point in advocating the same in this sport?


1. Popularity : The revenue generated out of a game does come out from the popularity of the match and the number of spectators worldwide. If it is a proven theory that men’s matches are more popular, watched and liked by more people around the world, puts more pressure on players to perform better, there is nothing wrong in asking for more pay compared to the female counterparts where the matches are comparatively less lucrative.

2. Because all other sports do the same : Most sports do offer more money to male players as compared to women players owing to the same fact that there is less profit being raised from female sports matches. Well, Djokovic did go on to say that women should be paid more if their tennis could one day go on to become more popular and profitable. The popularity of cricket, for instance, is confined to the matches of men and hence they are paid more than women playing cricket. How is it that no one even brought this up with cricket?

3. Sheer business : Everyone has the right to fight for what they think is correct. Women players, at many levels, have fought for their rights and have rightfully claimed what they should be getting. If Novak feels he needs to fight for more pay because of generating more spectators, selling more tickets, being more profitable for the tennis associations, it is up to him to raise such requests. There is no harm coming from doing pure business which does call for distribution of pay owing to their contribution in generating profit from ticket sales and TV viewing figures.

4. The same could go for women : There are times when women’s tennis matches has more spectators compared to men’s like at the US Open last year when women’s finals tickets sold out before men’s. If pay is distributed on the basis of profit generation, there could be times when women will earn more than men. It is also to be mentioned that men play five sets at the Grand Slams while in all other matches, both men and women play three sets.


1. Wrong data : The popularity and success of tennis as a sport is an equal contribution of both men and women. It would be absolutely wrong to say that men like Federer and Djokovic alone contribute to the popularity of this sports. The William sisters, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Sania Mirza and many more are much more popular and most spectators can attest to the fact that they watch tennis only for these players.

2. Strength and stamina : It is a misconception that women are made of delicate stuff and hence they are unable to play longer matches like the five sets. It is in fact in the rules book that has defined the sets at Grand Slams and neither men nor women have any say in that. As far as the endurance and body limits of women are concerned as stated by Novak, women have always proved that they are made of sterner stuff and do not in any way treat their body as a weakness, be it the harshest time of the month.

3. Popularity on rise : It is a clear statistical fact that the popularity of women’s tennis and the inspiration that girls draw from them are on the constant escalation. Recent figures have shown that tickets for women’s matches have sold out faster than those of men. Moreover, pay shouldn’t depend of popularity figures at all. US female soccer stars earn comparatively lesser than their male counterparts even though their popularity is far higher than those of men’s matches.

4. Equal pay in other sports : Figure skating and gymnastics attract more spectators and viewers worldwide for their women’s competitions as compared to their male counterparts and yet the pay statistics is equal, which is the reason why players of both genders are equally inspired to work harder for the sport, regardless of popularity. Equal pay does help in attracting players from both sides to aspire for the sport and pursue it with motivation.

5. Media support : The fact that women’s matches garner less support is owing to the fact that media often provides them with lesser coverage and publicity as compared to men’s matches where sponsorship is also high owing to high publicity. They are less endorsed and hence suffer from the problem of publicity. Lowering the pay would only lessen the popularity and decrease motivation of those aspiring to be sportswomen in years to come.


They work equally harder, they face equal problems sometimes even more yet never complain or ask for special care, they are equally talented and have struggled their way to the top – there is no reason why women should be thought of as the weaker sex and paid lesser than their male counterparts.

Tennis has always been an inspiration for all sportswomen who believe that equality could be achieved in times to come. Examples of tennis is given when people advocate for equal pay and that makes the sports shine in both the matches – of men and women. Creating bias on basis of popularity would make it sheer business and lessen the sports spirit that prevails in the game.

Raising the pay of male players would only take us back to time where women were considered less competitive and weaker enough to not try and be at par with men.
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