Monday, July 09, 2012

Should WTA players make equal prize money as ATP players?

I started typing this about a week ago but was on vacation and didn't have time to complete my thought. It's still pertinent. It's just posted late.

For starters, in case you didn't know:
  • WTA = Women's Tennis Association = female professional tennis players
  • ATP = Association of Tennis Players = male professional tennis players
There was a recent article (linked while it lasts) on Tennis.com where Gilles Simon, a good-but-with-spotty-success male tennis player says he's against equal prize money for men and women tennis players in tournaments.

Of course, this received a lot of feedback from the women's players calling Simon an idiot, a sexist, and one very good female player said, "Do people go to see his matches or mine?" She's got a valid point but the other comments are just ignorant.

There are many people, especially women, that feel the women's players should get equal pay. I get their plight and I know women's tennis has come a long way with the prize money thanks to the efforts of Billie Jean King and other professional women tennis players. I'm glad women are getting paid what they are due but I don't think they should get equal pay...always.

Let me put it into perspective with a simple example:
A man and a woman start work at a company at the same time, doing the same exact job, having the same exact skills and level of work experience...basically ALL things being equal! The man puts in a 40-hr week and gets paid $1,000. The woman puts in a 30-hr week and gets paid $1,000.

Is this fair?

Now again, all things being equal. If the man and woman both work a 40-hr week and get paid $1,000, then that's equal pay for equal work.

Relate this to tennis and we get the following: men play 3-out-of-5 sets while the women play 2-out-of-3 sets. Should the women get equal pay? I don't think so! That's not equal pay for equal work.

One ignorant comment from a top-ten female player (I forget who) was something to the extent of, "If the men have to play four or five sets, well that's their problem. They should have won three sets in a row." So then it could be said that if females play 3 sets, too bad, they should have won two sets in a row.

For those tournaments that have 2-out-of-3 sets for both the men and women draws, I could see maybe equal pay for equal play. I guess maybe these tournaments' prize money could come down to which gender pulls in the most money but that's up to the promoters and such.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my 2¢.

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