In the history of sports, there has always been a question associated with women and their ability to play sports. I have dealt with the doubt and worked hard to prove myself. Becoming a sports lover at a young age, there has always been a higher number of professional sports played by men than women, and the women’s sports that are professionally recognized do not have the same salary structure as men's sports.
Luckily, women have made an impact in sports and are making names for themselves across the globe. Although women are coming out strong, there are still some discrepancies regarding equality.
Take the pay gap between men and women soccer players.
United States women’s soccer forward Alex Morgan is the highest-paid female soccer player with a $450,000 annual salary. Argentinian forward Lionel Messi earns $111 million annually. An $84 million salary and $27 million in endorsements.
Women’s sports like softball do not bring in the same amount of money that MLB brings in, which results in a lower salary and less advertising and promotion. However, there are several female athletes that have made names for themselves outside of their professional careers. Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza are two of the most recognized former professional softball players. Mendoza is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN.
Finch continued her endorsement with the sports equipment company, Mizuno, after her career ended, creating a line of products with her name on it. Finch also started her own line outside of Mizuno called Dream and Believe, which skyrocketed due to its appeal to young players across the world. She continues to be known as one of the greats to the up-and-coming stars and still holds her own pitching camps.
On a positive note, the NCAA’s Title IX rule requires equality of opportunities in men’s and women’s sports. This rule helped women be recognized for their abilities in athletics and squashed the bias significantly. Schools like NAU have had to cut back on male sports, like men's swimming, due to Title IX.
The Gender Equity Committee stands by the law that mandates the participation rate in sports must match the total enrollment of students. If the school has a total enrollment of 80% women and 20% men, the sports must reflect that rate. Since football carries so many players, it minimizes other male sports and maximizes women’s sports.
Overall, women have come a long way from where they started. Women’s equality is a topic that females around the world are fighting for. Believing in ourselves and standing firm in our beliefs is pushing us closer to being seen as an equal and being rewarded with what we deserve.