Equal pay for female tennis players

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jrose
Equal pay for female tennis players

 

jrose

quote:


WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Genteel and old-fashioned Wimbledon discarded one of its longest traditions -- unequal pay.

The All England Club yielded to 21st century realities Thursday, agreeing to pay women the same as men and falling in line with the other Grand Slam tournaments.

Six-time singles champion Billie Jean King, a pioneer for women's sports, said the decision was "a long time coming."

"With women and men paid on an equal scale, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that this is the right thing to do for the sport, the tournament and the world," she said.

The U.S. Open and Australian Open have paid equal prize money for years. The French Open paid the men's and women's champions the same for the first time last year, although the overall prize fund remained bigger for men.


Since we don't have a sport's thread, I thought this was the appropriate place for this, though I'm sure it could somewhat be a labour issue.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

 

Women’s tennis boss says it’s time to rid the sport of excessive grunting; umps to get handheld device to measure the on-court noise 

Quote:
Future generations of tennis fans might be able to take in the Wimbledon fortnight without the aid of ear plugs.

"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations," WTA boss Stacey Allaster said.

According to a story in the USA Today, reps from each of the four majors, the International Tennis Federation and the WTA players' council have agreed upon a new plan to drive the ear-piercing grunting that has plagued the women's game for years from the sport.

The anti-grunting plan would feature a handheld device that would allow the umpires to measure on-court grunting levels. New rules for what is considered acceptable vs. unacceptable noise will be created and an educational program will be put in place in national development programs and at all levels of junior and lower-tier pro events.

While Allaster stopped short of calling it a "grunt-o-meter" in her Monday interview, she added:

"The bottom line is that we want to bring forward across all levels of competition an objective rule through use of technology to make it much easier for athletes and chair umpires."

You Know Who Cares About Women Grunting in Tennis? Sexists.

Quote:
Summertime is almost here, which means that tennis season is upon us again—that magical time of year when we gather around the television with our loved ones and talk a bunch of sexist shit about female athletes just doing their fucking jobs. You know, grunting season.

Tennis is a sport that involves using your arm muscles to swing a big fly-swatter thingy as hard as you can at a tiny little ball, over and over, for hours. Sometimes, when a tennis player (male or female) hits the ball with the swatter, they grunt with exertion—just like you, when you lift a heavy box of video game cartridges or sit down too hard in the recliner. Oof! Gross!!! The difference is, though, that these tennis-grunters are professional athletes who are the best in the world at hitting-tiny-balls-really-fast-with-a-thingy, and their priority, weirdly, is not your boner. Their priority is winning the tennis. Full stop.

And make no mistake, though male and female tennis players grunt with equal frequency and vigor, the anti-grunting brigade is deeply sexist. Take this Wall Street Journal article, entitled "Confessions of a Tennis Grunter":

 

 

Caissa

I dislike listening to tennis grunting regardless of the sex of the player.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Caissa wrote:

I dislike listening to tennis grunting regardless of the sex of the player.

I agree.  I love watching tennis but I find the grunting annoying and it doesn't matter whether I am watching men's or women's games.  This is a high priced spectator sport that gives big time rewards to winners.  Another sport with really bad grunting is weightlifting and I never watch it. Rafael Nadal may be nice eye candy and one of the greatest players ever but to me his grunts make watching one of his matches painful.

I understand that it enhances the power stroke a tiny little bit. If everyone has the same rules then it is a level playing field so who cares. I think it will enhance my viewing pleasure and in the world of big money TV sports that is the bottom line.

Caissa

A member of the Top 20 who is on the ATP Player Council says men should be paid more than women at tennis tournaments.

Gilles Simon, a Frenchman seeded 13th at Wimbledon, told reporters in French that he thinks "men's tennis is ahead of women's tennis" and "men spend twice as long on court as women do at Grand Slams."

He also said men "provide a more attractive show" in their matches.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/tennis/story/2012/06/27/sp-atp-wta-tennis-wimbledon-gilles-simon.html

 

Sexism is alive and well, it seems.

Mr.Tea

Well, in general, male athletes make more money than female athletes. No female basketball player, for example, is making the kind of money that Lebron James is making (or anything close to it). Because more people want to watch Lebron James play basketball. I'm sure the ratings for men's tennis are much higher than for women's tennis. It seems fair that the players compensation be tied to how much money they bring in for the organization (in this case, Wimbledon, the TV networks, etc.)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Then I guess the women's matches need to be best of 5 like the men's in Grand Slams if that lame argument is the best that a sexist jerk can come up with.  I actually prefer women's tennis because there is often a better variety of shot making in the rallies.  In the men's game for me the best matches are those where the big serves are not dominant but instead the rallies are interesting with drops and lobs and crossing shots. 

I think tennis players make obscene amounts of money so I would be fine with the men's prize money being reduced to the women's rates.

Jacob Two-Two

I agree. Women's tennis is much more fun to watch. But I think anyone who complains about grunting is off their rocker. They're not playing badminton. They are hitting the ball with all the power they have. Of course they're going to make a noise. Asking them not to is like asking them not to sweat. In tennis, the audience is closer to the athletes than in other sports so you can hear them better, but any athlete will make noises when they exert themselves. I find the notion quite insulting, as if they're actors just pretending to play a sport, and we're directing them. "Can you do that again, but quieter, and with more feeling?" They're trying to win the game here.

Mr.Tea

I think Nadal grunts more loudly than any of the women players.

Also, speaking of athlete compensation, Forbes just released their list of the 100 top paid athletes in the world. Only two women broke the top 100.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is in their training regimes they practice it it is not sweat glands that they cannot control. it is a relatively new phenomena that has appeared and somehow tennis greats in the past did not need to grunt to win. An involuntary grunt is one thing but players that grunt on every shot are in fact engaging in a deliberate strategy not doing something that is just a normal consequence of exertion.

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I think tennis players make obscene amounts of money so I would be fine with the men's prize money being reduced to the women's rates.

In which case, the tournament organizers/promoters and the television stations that sell the advertising for the tournaments would get the money that would otherwise go to the players themselves.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I think tennis players make obscene amounts of money so I would be fine with the men's prize money being reduced to the women's rates.

In which case, the tournament organizers/promoters and the television stations that sell the advertising for the tournaments would get the money that would otherwise go to the players themselves.

Maybe, maybe not. Are you a soothsayer? 

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. Are you a soothsayer? 

Let's say the men's purse was reduced by $1 million to make the purse even with the women's purse. Where would that $1 million go?

Besides, why would you not want to see women's payments increased to what the men are making?  You say the pay for athletes is obscene...but what difference does it make to you what an athlete makes?  If an athlete can earn a couple of million dollars a year for a few years, I say, "Good for her!" 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Pass laws outlawing pay inequality, and enforce the damn laws. That should be the starting point, and go from there.

Sven Sven's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Pass laws outlawing pay inequality, and enforce the damn laws. That should be the starting point, and go from there.

Would you make those equality laws apply not only between men and women athletes but to all athletes in all sports?  In other words, if a person (man or woman) is a professional athlete, then should that person and all other professional athletes all get paid an equal amount (or at least roughly equal amounts)?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Why the fuck not?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If anyone argues against equality of pay in professional sports, I'd have to ask what you're doing in the feminist forum.

Sven Sven's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Why the fuck not?

So, if I was a professional curler (or a professional athlete is a similarly obscure sport), then I should be paid the same as an NHL player, simply because we're both professional athletes and, according to your response to my last post, all athletes across all sports should be paid the same, is that correct?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Quit playing seMANtricks. This is the feminist forum. If you can't have the discussion from a feminist POV, don't bother trying.

Sven Sven's picture

Let's say that you, Boom Boom, and a bunch of your friends were going to buy an expansion WNBA franchise (cheaply, I might add, relative to an NBA franchise). How would you propose to pay your average player $5 million per year (the amount an average NBA player is paid) when you only can sell tickets for about 15 bucks a seat and you only get about 8,000 fans at a game (both of those figures being WNBA averages)?  Where will you get the money?

Sven Sven's picture

RevolutionPlease, if people are going to propose equalizing pay among athletes (not only between genders but among all athletes across all sports, because there'd be no logic for doing the former without also doing the latter), then why is it inappropriate for someone (me, in this case) to ask how that would, in practical terms, be done. 

Ripple

So here's the thing ... I don't care about professional tennis.  And it 's not not that I can't mount an argument against Sven's anti- feminist, pro-capitalist "envy will make you unhappy" nonsense.  I do it every day.  I just don't want to do it here, on babble, a purported feminist site, in the feminism forum.  So, what it comes down to, is him or me.  Babble has decided: him.  Please, end the "wither babble" threads.

Sven Sven's picture

Ripple, I think equal pay for equal work in the "real world" makes sense (the best nurses or surgeons or whatever should be paid the same -- and more than their less competent colleagues -- regardless of gender).  Professional sports occupies a completely different plane and I would like to hear how, exactly, someone would structure a system where NBA players get paid the same as WNBA players.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So, Sven, how many more posts can we expect to go by before you declare that the desire for equal pay for female athletes is just, oh, I don't know...ENVY?

BTW, this is my last post in this thread because I do get the irony that about men posting in the feminism forum.  I'd like to ask all the other male babblers to voluntarily do the same.  Clearly, our gender has monopolized this thread and we had no right to do so.

Goodnight, everybody.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sven, you're trolling this thread. Please don't post in it again.

Sven Sven's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

BTW, this is my last post in this thread because I do get the irony that about men posting in the feminism forum.  I'd like to ask all the other male babblers to voluntarily do the same.

Agreed.

Caissa

People need to re-read the OP.

Mr.Tea

Sven wrote:

Would you make those equality laws apply not only between men and women athletes but to all athletes in all sports?  In other words, if a person (man or woman) is a professional athlete, then should that person and all other professional athletes all get paid an equal amount (or at least roughly equal amounts)?

The two highest paid athletes last year were both boxers (Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao). Almost all of their money came from winnings (versus other athletes who get a ton in ednorsement deals). I think it's entirely fair because both of them are generating a ton of money for the people who sponsor their matches. No female boxer makes a fraction of what they make because people simply don't want to watch women box.

I think it makes sense that a great player like Lebron James gets paid more a mediocre basketball player. However, I do like the concept of a slary cap, which exists in football, basketball and hockey, but not baseball. In baseball, owners can pay players any amount they wish and the team's total payroll has no limit. This sucks for the fans because it means small market teams just can't compete cause the New York Yankees will have a payroll 10 times what they have. Football is the best in terms of equity because they have both a salary cap and revenue sharing among teams. This makes it possible for a team from a town like Green Bay, Wisconsin to not only be a great football team but also incredibly profitable. Whereas in baseball, a team from Green Bay wouldn't even exist in the league (see the demise of teh Montreal Expos....)

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Should I close the feminism forum for irrelevance? This is a serious question. 

Caissa

Maybe you should start a thread on that in Reactions, Catchfire.

I realize that this thread has been de-railed. The issue of equal pay for female tennis players goes to the heart of how we apply value in our patriarchal capitalist society. Try imagining sport in a matriarchal soicalist environment.

onlinediscountanvils

Serious question for what, IMO, is babble's most serious problem. I think it's exceedingly clear that the men who participate in this forum can't even keep a discussion female-centred, much less feminist. But it's certainly not my call to make, and I'll leave that discussion to the few women who still post here. I'll support babble in following through with whatever direction they give you.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Suggestion: Ban men from posting in the Feminist forum. Better than shutting the forum down entirely. Make the Feminist Forum a safe place for women. Anyone have a better idea?

Caissa

Could you take this discussion to reactions,please? Unless of course you think this thread is unsalvageable.

Caissa

tsn wrote:

One female player asked about Simon's comments, 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens, said: "I don't care what he says about anything. He hit me with a ball the first time I was a ballkid. He hit me in the chest, because he lost a point and lost the set. He turned around and slammed the ball with his racket and hit me ... and I've never spoken to him since then."

http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/story/?id=399347

 

In a statement released Wednesday via a WTA spokesman, the CEO of the women's tour, Stacey Allaster, said: "Tennis, including the Grand Slams, is aligned with our modern, progressive society when it comes to the principle of equality. I can't believe in this day and age that anyone can still think otherwise. This type of thinking is exactly why the WTA was founded and we will always fight for what's right."

ryanw

Quote:

 This type of thinking is exactly why the ... was founded and we will always fight for what's right."

this last bit seems pertinent, if one chooses to believe something is impossible there's hardly any chance they would pursue action to change that perception. don't sail off the edge of the world etc.

tennis seems to be the progressive posterchild, there's not alot to be gained by staring at the mountain in front of you (insert sport here) for any length of time. It's better to plan who is next after tennis as well as how to improve tennis as it can always be better.

milo204

I think a logical extension of this question is why are so many sports gender segregated when they don't need to be.  I can see with contact sports like hockey, mma, boxing etc...but why for example are so many olympic sports, etc. divided...things like pool, golf, ski jumping, etc

seriously though, the idea of trying to pay all professional athletes the same no matter what league or level they're at is preposterous and quite frankly impossible, unless you want to just give all the money to the CEO's and bigwigs and lower all athlete pay to that of the lowest paid athletes or if everyone in the world did nothing but attend or watch sports 24/7 so every athlete had the same audience...