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Womens Sports and Pay Equality in Sports.

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So I have talked about this in the shoutbox and I think it deserves its own thread

In the news I started reading about Megan Rapinoe and her quest for gender pay gap among U.S. represented sports teams. It is a fair question since Entertainment is the one area where a vast pay gap exists, and it is not for a lack of success. My personal thoughts is that it is the eyes you bring to the table that count. News anchors, athletes, and anybody in front of a camera should be paid by the amount of eyeballs they have on the T.V. set. The reason Rapinoe has such a strong case is because the viewership for The U.S. women's soccer team is far greater than that of the men. So what gives? Now I am a firm believer that in most athletic ventures women's sports is just an inferior product.  Not because they are women necessarily but because of a skill discrepancy because of the average athleticism between men and women. Basketbal for instance, it is more fun to watch Vince Carter jump over a 7 ft defener and throw it down than it is to watch Sheryl Swoops who was dominant in the sport as well.  So there is an inherent discrepancy there that until women are built like LeBron will always exist.

Then I started thinking about Soccer, which admittedly I am not a huge fan but I will watch it if nothing is on, but there does not seem to be a huge discrepancy in the product. I get that Rapinoe would not be Messi, Ronaldo, Kane, or Mbappee. That said I dont think the team aspect of it for the mens is that much more compelling on the mens side, I could be wrong. 

Then this weekend I was watching the UFC fight and I am always interested in the payouts because you hear stories of UFC fighters not being able to pay their medical bills which I find fucking insane. I referenced the Cyborg V.S. Spencer fight in the shoutbox, because I found that to be appalling. Cyborg made $145,000 which is good money but still a problem considering she has lost one fight in 13 years, and Frankie Edgar doubled her up on money and has lost 2 of his last 3. Granted he is a legend but he is nowhere near as dominant as what he does as Cyborg is. Then you have Felicia Spencer who made $17,000. She was in the Co-Main event slot and was the bottom 5 lowest paid fighter making less than guys on the fight pass prelims, and all the people on the prelims. Her and Cyborg put on arguably the greatest fight of the night. I think it is insane that she will make under $30,000 dollars this year and she will have risked more physically and incurred more medical bills than almost any other profession. 

This made me wonder is it time to Unionize all sports, or do we stick with the standard model. There are problems to both but it just seems something has to be done, at least in the UFC. The problem with unionizing is that you would have a tough time finding an equitable number per shares of eyes. There is no way any woman pulls in more than Conor McGregor or Jon Jones. One of whom who is a massive fuckup and cheater and the other has become annoying with his banter. The other problem is the pay per view model limiting eyes on the sport and diminishing shares of revenue coming in for fighters. That said you cant tell a company to abandon pay perviews and take down their stupid pay walls as nice as it would be. That said they shout AT THE VERY LEAST get full medical coverage. 

Thoughts? Solutions? 

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Entertainment period...is you get what you negotiate. 

In other fields we can have the discussion. I've personally haven't ever seen two people doing the same task-driven job and get offered a different amount because of their gender. That is highly illegal. The pay gap is usually over misunderstood facts or within in the entertainment industry. 

Back to the discussion of women sports...this isn't much of a discussion as far as what should happen. You are paid based on the demand for your product and what your union bargains for. People can talk about NBA vs WNBA all they want...but the fact is I could start my own professional basketball league with me and my friends tomorrow and guess what...the WNBA will make a lot more money than me. Gender isn't an automatic anything. 

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The WNBA you are correct, but Ngata is spot on with women's soccer vs men's. I understand it entirely with the WNBA, they're simply nowhere near as good. The same does not apply to women's soccer.

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Posted (edited)

I also think there are two different situations depending on whether you're discussing leagues or international tournaments.  If you're in the WNBA you're only going to get money based on what the WNBA brings in, and that's not nearly what the NBA is bringing in, it's the same reason players in the Big 3 league aren't getting paid the same as NBA Players or Arena Football League players aren't making NFL money. But for international tournaments, like the Men's vs. the Women's World Cup, where all of the money is coming out of FIFA's pockets, there's less of a justification for the pay discrepancy.

Edited by oochymp

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I think my point still stands....it isn't what you deserve it is what you bargain for. The demand part is in the equation but also the negotiations. I would say the same if the NBA was bringing in equal or higher views as the WNBA but was making less money. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think it makes sense for equal pay in national soccer:

  • The time frame where the women out-earned the men was during the first WC we missed since 1986. I am not sure that will happen very often in the future given how much the sport is booming in our country now. Just wait till the casuals see Pulisic play, the dude is going to be our first LEGIT world wide star.
  • All you have to look at is the revenues earned by each respective sport... ~5 BILLION to ~$130 million....
  • Men face a MUCH larger level of competition, the women's game has been mostly irrelevant on the national stage in Europe and South America apart from a few countries where they have had good teams i/e the Scandinavians and Brazil. The women are no where near as good as the men, it just doesn't show because they face 2 or 3 good teams throughout the entire tourney whereas we would be lucky to make it out the group stage.
  • Anyone with an eye for soccer can see the discrepancy in skill between the two games.

Ngata, the UFC has its own pay problems but the last two bullets apply to Women's UFC. The level of competition has been poor and we are just now seeing it improve with a lot of the up and coming girls. Look at Ronda and Cyborg as examples of that. People who coasted off of their advantages and beat up on low levels of competition. I also don't think Cyborg has earned anything in the UFC or is even that big of a draw. She has fought two names, one was a severe physical over-match and the other she got her ass beat. It isn't the best reference but any MMA forum I go to, half the people moan about WMMA being shoved down our throats....its just not nearly as big of a draw. 

Edited by BJORN

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What's reasonable? There are certain sports where equal pay is impossible. If that undeniable fact is conceded from the beginning, we can find the places with it's possible and implement it. 

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