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Should Professional Women Athletes Be Paid the Same as Men?

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Should Professional Women Athletes Be Paid the Same as Men?

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  • August 17, 2008
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Sports have become arguably the single most important institution in our nation. They have overcome issues of race, colour, and class. However, one area that faces continual struggling is that of gender equality. More especially, areas of concern include male and female athlete marketing, perceptions, and pay.

The difference between women and men in athletes is one of the biggest problems in sports. I have never once watched a women’s sporting event on television. Men’s sports are on a different level than women’s. They’re faster-paced, more physical and men are better than women in athletics. No women participate in men’s leagues such as the NBA, NFL or Major League Baseball because they cannot compete at the same level. In addition women athletes are underpaid, especially when compared to male athletes in the same sport.

For a long time, the highest level of competition a woman athlete could play at was college. A select few athletes could go on to play in the Olympic Games, but few women had an opportunity to reach that level. Recently, women in certain sports have been given opportunities to continue playing at a professional level. For instance Golf leagues, namely the PGA, have recently been infiltrated by women. However, when given the chance to compete, Annika Sorenstam wasn’t good enough to play with the boys, and she is supposedly a phenomenal golfer for a girl. The only thing holding women back from competition with men is their own lack of physical capabilities. Women are, generally, naturally smaller and less muscular than men, especially in the types of muscles and size required for games like basketball and football.

The inequity is visible in every sport. According to the Women's Sports Foundation, the total prize money for the LPGA was $50 million compared to the PGA tour's total of $256 million. Until this year, the Wimbledon used to offer more money in the prize purses for male athletes. The maximum salary for a WNBA player in...