Inequality in athletics

hdr_sportsToday’s agenda: In this post we are going to talk about how men and women are treated differently when it comes to sports and athletics.


Being a female athlete we are familiar with this topic, and have experienced and seen many of the struggles that most female athletes endure on a daily basis. This includes women athletes’ salaries compared to men’s, how women sports are broadcast, and how women athletes are portrayed in the media.

Males vs. Females

In many cases professional male athletes overall are getting paid a much more than professional female athletes.”The U.S. women’s soccer team, for example, is doing so well on the field they may bring home the $15 million prize, which seems pretty substantial… until you compare it to the $358 million prize that went to last year’s (male) winners of the FIFA World Cup.” This is the perfect example of how although women and men are putting in the same amount of time and effort into their respective sport, women do not receive the same rewards, even if they are more successful. Gender inequality is obviously a huge issue in today’s society, and specifically women athletes are bearing the brunt of the situation. As researched by journalist Maggie Martens, sports inequality “wasn’t seen as being as important as issues like the right to work, abortion, and equal pay.”


Another issue of inequality for women athletes is that fact that they  rarely broadcast on national television. The Women Sports Foundation shares some shocking statistics:

  • A 20-year study of network and cable by USC & Purdue sociologists find men take 96% of sports news.
  • Women’s sports accounted for less than 2 percent of network news and ESPN Sportscaster.
  • Even the ESPN Ticker gives women the short shrift – 96.4 percent of the information scrolling along the bottom of the screen was dedicated to only men’s sports.

Interviews with women athletes typically tend to focus on their appearance and personal lives rather than their sport and how they played. Men rarely get asked these types of questions. A video created by Cover the Athlete demonstrates male athletes getting asked questions females typically get asked. It proves the sexist portrayal of females in the media and how popularity revolves around appearance.

All About The “look”

A perfect example of this is soccer player Alex Morgan. She is widely famous and idolized by many, a huge part due to her appearance. Teammate Abby Wambach actually has better statistics than Morgan, but does not have the same popularity due to her physical appearance.

Alex Morgan and teammate Abby Wambach

Inequality in women sports also is an issue in college. The fan base at women’s games compared to men’s games is drastically different in all sports. Many of the women’s teams at San Diego State are extremely successful, but many students are not aware. We feel as though it is important for students to support all athletes at their school and cheer them on at games.