OPINION: SHOULD MALE AND FEMALE ATHLETES BE PAID EQUALLY? BY EFUA AMPOFOA

Yes, they ought to. But there’s a problem. They should get the same portion of the money made by the game or event. Here’s an example:

According to goal.com the Men’s Football World Cup 2018 made around $6 billion in revenue and the total prize money was $400 million which is around 6.67% of the total revenue. Meanwhile, the Women’s Football World Cup 2019 made $131 million in revenue and the prize money was $30 million which is around 22.9% of the total revenue.

Business exists in sports. The amount of money fans are prepared to pay to participate in a sport and the amount of money sponsors are ready to spend on advertising make up the income stream. Who is more bankable is more important here than whether someone is male or female.

Women’s team sports just generate less income than men’s team sports. Because women don’t earn as much as men do, you can’t pay them the same, and requiring pay parity would effectively destroy women’s sports businesses.

In the case of Ghana, in the year 2020, Ex-Ghana goalkeeper William Amamoo called on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to give equal pay to the men’s and women’s national teams. According to Pulsegh

This generated many comments and thoughts from people:

“There are times that we don’t even give them a bonus. I support this cause and we are going to fight for it for all players across the continent,” the Härnösands FF goalie said.

“I am championing this cause including some former players of the Black Queens and we are going to fight for equal pay for players in Ghana and Africa”, Amamoo added.

Now, these people calling for pay equality overlook the fact that athletes have the right to negotiate their salaries, wages, and other costs and can leave a job if they believe they are being undervalued. Because businesses are profit-driven and don’t want anyone who can help them earn money to leave, if you are worth what you think you are, they will be prepared to pay that.

Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey are two excellent instances of women who have achieved success in individual sports comparable to that of men. Ronda Rousey famously refuted a reporter’s attempt to link her great income to pay equity by claiming that her success is purely financial and has nothing to do with her gender.

In another instance, 82 million people watched the women’s team’s last victory championship game. 192 million people watched each match on average throughout the 2018 Men’s World Cup, while 1.12 billion people watched the championship match.

Why should two products that are more than ten times more popular and profitable than the other two be paid equally? Bring in the advertisers and viewers, and the money will come.

By Eugenia Efuua Ampoa @efua_ampofoa

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