In the world of sports, money talks and it often speaks much louder for men. While women are increasingly closing the gap when it comes to athletic skill, the same is not true for pay.
In basketball, the salary cap for the entire WNBA team doesn’t reach $1 million. Yet, for the men’s league, the cap is over $58 million.
Th 2014 Forbes List of the World’s Highest Paid Athletes gives a clear snapshot of the gap. Out of 100 athletes on the list, only three are women.
Topping the list is Floyd “Money” Mayweather, a professional boxer banking close to $30 million per fight. With a woman in the ring, the prize money is significantly lower — even if she is a champion.
Jamaican born, Alicia “Slick” Ashley, is a four-time world champion. But unlike Mayweather, her title fights bring in only about $3,000 in the US. That money is then split to pay the manager, trainer, and any other expenses, essentially leaving her with half.
Ashley has to work a second job, and like other female boxers, she travels abroad to fight in countries where the sport is more popular. In her last fight in Mexico, against Jackie Nava, she took home $30,000, ten times what she would make in the US.
Some say the sport is dying, but Ashley feels the sport just needs to be televised like the men’s fights.
“In other countries, my fight is a headliner. Alot of times the female fight on the card is the most exciting fight there is,” she says. “So you’re telling me that we’re not a draw? People come to see the women fight, all you have to do is show it.”
Credit: Darwin Phillips