Should Men and Women get Equal Pay in Grand Slam Tennis?

Amritia

Professional
Pay men more. More work more pay.
Did you read my argument against this in the article?


Just to remind you, incase you missed it:
Even if you did view the income structure in tennis as more of a 'pay by the hour' scheme- surely then you would have to agree players who are ranked lower than the top 10 on average play more sets and longer (Djokovic for example probably finishes most of his matches in 3 sets, does Robredo?), and Isner not only plays more sets per match on average than Djokovic but more of them go to tiebreaks. Should Robredo and Isner get more on average than Djokovic and Federer as they tend to play more sets and have longer matches?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The other interesting problem is that if you want to pay women less how much less do you pay them?

The prize money differential by the end of the practice was quite small, so it was just stubbornness that prevailed.

It's a joint event run by the same organisation under the same overarching umbrella - the ITF - with no appearance fees.

In a society where equal pay for work of equal value prevails unless organizers can publicly justify with extensive documentation that women are not of equal commercial value ...

they'll be rightly accused of discrimination.
 

bullfan

Legend
I actually believe that the current distribution of finance in Grand Slams, ie men and women get paid the same, is fair; although I recognise I'm probably in the minority of the tennis community by holding this view.

I recognise though that there are some reasonable points against equal pay, that on the surface seem very convincing, and I will first lay out these points before expressing why I think they aren't correct.

Main Arguments in favour of giving more pay to men:
1/ They play best of 5 sets, while women play best of 3 sets. As men have the potential to play more sets, and therefore play longer matches, it can be seen as unfair that they get equal pay. This argument entails that the most fair way is to really pay men and women proportionally to the potential number of sets they play, so as long as it remains BO5 for men and BO3 for women, men should get paid more.

2/ Men bring in more money for the Grand Slams. Research has shown that revenues for Grand Slams comes more from the men than the women. This is likely, given that I have also seen similar research done showing in single-sex events throughout the year the prize money is more for men than for women- which indicates they would bring in more money into a mixed tournament. Thus if the free market was dictating who gets what pay, it can be argued again that men should get paid more.

However I disagree with both the arguments above, for the following reasons:

Firstly for me I see tennis as much more of an entertainment industry than a labour industry. To explain further, I see it as more similar to the West End (entertainment) Market in London and New York- where actors of the top shows will get paid much more than in normal shows; rather than a labour industry such as dry cleaning which could get paid by the hour. So this in my mind makes points number 1 (see above) relatively irrelevant.
Even if you did view the income structure in tennis as more of a 'pay by the hour' scheme- surely then you would have to agree players who are ranked lower than the top 10 on average play more sets and longer (Djokovic for example probably finishes most of his matches in 3 sets, does Robredo?), and Isner not only plays more sets per match on average than Djokovic but more of them go to tiebreaks. Should Robredo and Isner get more on average than Djokovic and Federer as they tend to play more sets and have longer matches?

So therefore the other main argument left against my opinion is point number 2 (see above), ie seeing tennis as a free market and thus rewarding men (who on average bring in more revenue compared to the women according to statistics) with more income. Despite seeing the merits of this point, there are a few flaws. Take Wimbledon 2013 for example. Now Federer is the most popular player in the world, and he lost in Round 2. He took home the same income from that tournament, as Bobby Reynolds. Now sure if we were really upholding the principle of revenue=reward, Federer should have been given much more money than Reynolds for losing in Round 2. So if this debate is used for men against women, surely it can be used for top players against lower players? Should we then therefore try to erode the income of lower ranked players' even further in the name of fairness? No.

My belief is that this 'reward' argument, even if you ignore its flaws, is overridden by the social benefits brought with equal pay.
I want the sport I follow and love, tennis, to set an example to other sports in ensuring that the biggest competitions give equal amounts to both men and women. I want tennis to be the sport that the younger generations can point to and say 'this is the sport where winning the men's Wimbledon Title or women's Wimbledon Title does not influence prize money.'
That I believe is a sport that we can be proud of, rather than one which sees money and revenue as the be all and end all.
Why argue for the status quo? It's not like there's a huge drive to change it. It just see s like opening a can of worms.
 

Sid_Vicious

G.O.A.T.
I think everything is fine right now. I would want women to play best of 5 sets, but that would make for disastrous scheduling at the slams. The other horrific alternative suggested is making mens tennis best of 3 sets at the slams. Hell no to that. I will completely stop watching tennis if that happened.

Keep the equal pay.
 

Bud

Bionic Poster
Make the women play a best of five final at the slams. Sharapova and Knapp played 37 games over 3 sets in 110 degree heat a couple of days ago. They can do it.
 
M

monfed

Guest
I think the hotter women should get more pay than the low ranked male players. How can they pay Sharapova/Woz/Vika and the other hotties the same as players like Gabashvili, Pospisil,Simon? It's not fair.
 

Sid_Vicious

G.O.A.T.
I think the hotter women should get more pay than the low ranked male players. How can they pay Sharapova/Woz/Vika and the other hotties the same as players like Gabashvili, Pospisil,Simon? It's not fair.
Sure, and why not just get rid of mens tennis altogether and turn tennis into a beauty pageant?
 
I am against gender discrimination, but each should get paid according to the money generated. If women's tennis generates 1/2 the revenue, the should get paid on average half. I don't know the exact figures though.
 

Amritia

Professional
I am against gender discrimination, but each should get paid according to the money generated. If women's tennis generates 1/2 the revenue, the should get paid on average half. I don't know the exact figures though.
So do you also agree then that Federer should get more than Bobby Reynolds for last years Wimbledon, despite both players losing in Round 2?
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
The world we are living in right now is a sexist world. It passed the equality terms and now women is expected to get paid more and be able to discriminate men openly without serious consequences. There is no way the slams would suddenly increase the men's paid out.
 
So do you also agree then that Federer should get more than Bobby Reynolds for last years Wimbledon, despite both players losing in Round 2?
Not at all, but I see your point. I think the whole of men's draw should get more, but compensation within that draw should be based on results. The only reason Federer is a money maker for the tour is the results he has achieved throughout his career, so he has already received proper compensation.
 

bullfan

Legend
The world we are living in right now is a sexist world. It passed the equality terms and now women is expected to get paid more and be able to discriminate men openly without serious consequences. There is no way the slams would suddenly increase the men's paid out.
I'm not sure I get your post, it's confusing.
 

mbm0912

Hall of Fame
I think the hotter women should get more pay than the low ranked male players. How can they pay Sharapova/Woz/Vika and the other hotties the same as players like Gabashvili, Pospisil,Simon? It's not fair.
Hotties? I think not. Try Ivanovic/Minella/Kirilenko.

You're welcome.
 

PSNELKE

Legend
All people complaining about the current situation regarding equal pay are just insecure about their manhood and uneducated misogynists. ;)

I mean hey, feminist arguments: equal work = equal pay ; Tennis: less work, generate less money = equal pay. Makes sense, no?

Anyway I think it's fine as it is right now. Nobody is willing to watch a 5 set WTA slugfest and 3 set matches for men should be out of question.
 

bullfan

Legend
All people complaining about the current situation regarding equal pay are just insecure about their manhood and uneducated misogynists. ;)

I mean hey, feminist arguments: equal work = equal pay ; Tennis: less work, generate less money = equal pay. Makes sense, no?

Anyway I think it's fine as it is right now. Nobody is willing to watch a 5 set WTA slugfest and 3 set matches for men should be out of question.
One keeps forgetting that women are paid less for the same work. It's al fine and good as long as one doesn't only spawn daughters, who folks know do equal work! I keep forgetting why I deserve less than a colleague due to my sex. Equal brains, equal work, but not equal pay.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
I'm just going to point out the elephant in the room.

Bottom line is women players usually produce lower-quality tennis, draw less crowds, generate less commercial revenue, and quite often WTA matches are BORING. Yes, they are pretty much subsidized by the ATP, all for the sake of supporting the artificial PC institution of "equal pay" (you can thank BJK for that).

In no other major sport on the planet are women paid anywhere NEAR as much as the men. I think WTA players should be quite grateful for the gig they got going on here.
 
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cartel

Rookie
while i think equality for "equal work" SHOULD be in the work force this doesnt work in sports

do you think womens basketball should be subsidized by the nba and get the same salarys? hockey?

does womens golf pay same as mens? thats the closest comparison--

i think its simply stupid that EITHER men or women get $1.5m to win the us open and serena last year got a $1m bonus so 2.5....

yet the top 500 player likely is losing money ..

spread the doh out to the challenger and futures events so the ones that live in their vans can afford dinner_ THATS where the money should filter to
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
The argument for equal pay isn't really an argument or a debate. The whole of it is nothing more than a minority group trying to ensure that it has an independent method of income generation so that members in that group can essentially control their own destiny, as opposed to being reliant upon the majority group that often just doesn't care about the minority group's desires or that they should even be independent and not subject to the whims of the majority. In others words, in life woman often have to give up their own desires or cater to men and their desires just in order to survive...and many woman don't like it or at least want the option to choose whether to meet society (male) influenced double standards.

And to that end, private enterprise can dole out the money however they wish and I for one am glad there is equal prize money.
 
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RodSmooth

Professional
all i know is for the most part. These women show nothing worth 300k for a quarter final. not even Serena. On top of that its far easier to make it top 50 wta then atp.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
The argument for equal pay isn't really an argument or a debate. The whole of it is nothing more than a minority group trying to ensure that it has an independent for method income generation so that members in that group can essentially control their own destiny, as opposed to being reliant upon the majority group that often just doesn't care about the minority group's desire for independence or that they should even be independent and not subject to the whims of the majority. In others words, in life woman often have to give up their own desires or cater to men and their desires just in order to survive...and many woman don't like it or at least want the option to choose whether to meet society influenced double standards.

And to that end, private enterprise can dole out the money however they wish and I for one am glad there is equal prize money.
How can you spin this it terms of some worn-out minority/majority spiel? Statistically, women in fact are the majority demographic.

Other major sports (Basketball, Baseball, Football, etc.) don't pay nearly as much to female players as to male players, and coincidentally those sports are much more successful than tennis. Moreover, nobody seems to give a damn about the lack of "equal pay" in those sports.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The ATP does not subsidize the WTA and the Slams are controlled by neither of these two entities.

The concept is not equal pay but equal pay for work of equal (commercial) value.




I'm just going to point out the elephant in the room.
Bottom line is women players usually produce lower-quality tennis, draw less crowds, generate less commercial revenue, and quite often WTA matches are BORING. Yes, they are pretty much subsidized by the ATP, all for the sake of supporting the artificial PC institution of "equal pay" (you can thank BJK for that).

In no other major sport on the planet are women paid anywhere NEAR as much as the men. I think WTA players should be quite grateful for the gig they got going on here.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
There is no equal pay in any sporting organisation if they are gender segregated. Tennis is not and at slams they are paid equally because they bring equal value to the tournament.


How can you spin this it terms of some worn-out minority/majority spiel? Statistically, women in fact are the majority demographic.

Other major sports (Basketball, Baseball, Football, etc.) don't pay nearly as much to female players as to male players, and coincidentally those sports are much more successful than tennis. Moreover, nobody seems to give a damn about the lack of "equal pay" in those sports.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
The concept is not equal pay but equal pay for work of equal (commercial) value.
Exactly my point, the men's game and women's game do not have equal commercial value.

And again, why is this not an issue in other major sports? The men's divisions are vastly more popular and its players receive a proportionately higher salary.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The Slam organizers have determined they are of equal value.

Tennis is otherwise gender segregated and there is no linkage between what men and women are paid.

At the joint event in Sydney the women were paid far more than the men because the organisers saw them as bringing more value with the men taking the week off before the slam.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
There is no equal pay in any sporting organisation if they are gender segregated. Tennis is not and at slams they are paid equally because they bring equal value to the tournament.
(Singles) Tennis is just as gender segregated as any other sport (ATP and WTA). In fact, it is probably illegal in most democratic countries to actually segregate by gender as a rule (though clearly integration will not work out on a large scale in practice). Again, the men's and women's games do not bring equal value to any tournament with both divisions present, as demonstrated empirically by ticket returns, TV ratings, and commercial sales.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
As I further more clearly stated, the slams are not gender segregated but the organisations are and they do pay differently depending on commercial values.

Tournaments with both genders present do not pay equally, only Slams do.

The Slam organisers have determined that whatever the precise commercial value of both events it does not warrant a prize money differential and given only 30% of revenue is given as prize money why not conclude such?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Maybe they should not hand out gold medals to women at he Olympics, then, as their events are less prestiguous than the men's and their performance is clearly less than that of a man?

Maybe there should be Copper, Steel and Aluminium medals for women? They can then melt them down into cooking utensiles so they can feed their families when they get home.
 

jrs

Professional
Fans are getting ripped off forced to buy women's match tickets if you want to watch the men play.

Men should make more than women.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
Maybe they should not hand out gold medals to women at he Olympics, then, as their events are less prestiguous than the men's and their performance is clearly less than that of a man?

Maybe there should be Copper, Steel and Aluminium medals for women? They can then melt them down into cooking utensiles so they can feed their families when they get home.
Straw man/irrelevant. There is no direct prize money in the Olympics, and Olympians are not competing for their livelihood but for honor and prestige for themselves and their countries. Nothing wrong with getting the same prizes for the same accomplishments.

I starting to figure you're probably female, in which case I apologize if you took offense to anything I said. I in fact find many female divisions of Olympics sports vastly more entertaining than their male counterparts (particularly gymnastics, diving, and figure skating).
 
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Tenez101

Hall of Fame
As I further more clearly stated, the slams are not gender segregated but the organisations are and they do pay differently depending on commercial values.

Tournaments with both genders present do not pay equally, only Slams do.

The Slam organisers have determined that whatever the precise commercial value of both events it does not warrant a prize money differential and given only 30% of revenue is given as prize money why not conclude such?
In the end slam organizers are really looking out for their own best interest, and it looks good for the media that they can claim "equal pay" for PC reasons. However, this is ultimately taking away from male players who generate more revenue than women players, and is especially harmful to the lower-ranked ones. I really do not care for the well-being of the slam organizer's pockets, I care about the sport and its players.

And yes, the prize money pool should also just be bigger overall.
 

firepanda

Professional
Men spend more time on court and bring in more crowds. I see no reason for women to be paid the same amount in slams than men. I support feminism, but only if it's sensible and intelligent.

With regards to your points:

Point 1 isn't overridden entirely, it's interpretation is just changed. Now, instead of men 'working' more and spending more time on court, audience gets a longer show. To use an opera analogy, a performance of Wagner's ring cycle costs more than a one-act operetta since there's more content there.

Point 2 is also flawed. Your idea of paying Federer more than Reynolds in not wrong because it is unfair but because it is unsustainable and blatantly so.
 

bullfan

Legend
Straw man/irrelevant. There is no direct prize money in the Olympics, and Olympians are not competing for their livelihood but for honor and prestige for themselves and their countries. Nothing wrong with getting the same prizes for the same accomplishments.

I starting to figure you're probably female, in which case I apologize if you took offense to anything I said. I in fact find many female divisions of Olympics sports vastly more entertaining than their male counterparts (particularly gymnastics, diving, and figure skating).
Are you crapping me over Olympic ticket prices? Have you purchased tickets? Were you able to buy the male Ve female tickets?

When my momma went, it was pick events, first and second choice, take it or leave it!
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It's not a straw man argument. It's actually a rductio ad absurdum and completely relevant because it shows the stupidity of your basic argument.



Straw man/irrelevant. There is no direct prize money in the Olympics, and Olympians are not competing for their livelihood but for honor and prestige for themselves and their countries. Nothing wrong with getting the same prizes for the same accomplishments.

I starting to figure you're probably female, in which case I apologize if you took offense to anything I said. I in fact find many female divisions of Olympics sports vastly more entertaining than their male counterparts (particularly gymnastics, diving, and figure skating).
 

Manus Domini

Hall of Fame
The current system favors too much the bourgeoisie. We should, in the interest of the proletariat, eliminate the monetary compensation for tennis entirely, and split, instead, the income of tournaments equally between all players (regardless of performance or time on court), as well as umpires, linesmen, ballboys/ballgirls, and other tournament officials.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
More people are interested in the top 64 women than they are in male players 65 to 128 so do male and female players subsidize them as well?



In the end slam organizers are really looking out for their own best interest, and it looks good for the media that they can claim "equal pay" for PC reasons. However, this is ultimately taking away from male players who generate more revenue than women players, and is especially harmful to the lower-ranked ones. I really do not care for the well-being of the slam organizer's pockets, I care about the sport and its players.

And yes, the prize money pool should also just be bigger overall.
 

MRG

New User
Female players are every bit as good as male players. Just put them in the same draw in all the events. Problem solved!
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Performance or time? Make up your mind, if you can. They are two different principles.



The current system favors too much the bourgeoisie. We should, in the interest of the proletariat, eliminate the monetary compensation for tennis entirely, and split, instead, the income of tournaments equally between all players (regardless of performance or time on court), as well as umpires, linesmen, ballboys/ballgirls, and other tournament officials.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
No one is arguing they are as good at playing, but they are equally valuable to Slam events and that is the point that alone matters.



Female players are every bit as good as male players. Just put them in the same draw in all the events. Problem solved!
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
How can you spin this it terms of some worn-out minority/majority spiel? Statistically, women in fact are the majority demographic.
The reality, regardless of whether it meets rational argument or can "fit" into a logical construct, is that women are stilled viewed by and large as lesser in most societies, including most major and educated countries. It's just the reality and that above all trumps any "logical" argument. People may try to justify the need for equal pay, or vice versa, using logical or rational arguments but in the end it's just wrapping paper over the real, fundamental, issue.

Other major sports (Basketball, Baseball, Football, etc.) don't pay nearly as much to female players as to male players, and coincidentally those sports are much more successful than tennis. Moreover, nobody seems to give a damn about the lack of "equal pay" in those sports.
I'd wager that women's tennis is probably the most successful sporting event for women regarding international recognition. I.e, women tennis players probably garner more attention and have been heard of on a much more consistent basis. I can't name one WNBA player, for example. The fact that nobody seems to care about "equal pay" in those sports is precisely the indicator that equal pay for women in tennis has little to do with any argument about equal work, equal value, equal so on and so on. It's about women doing everything in their power to try and convince those with money to share some with them so they can build a foundation that's as self sufficient as possible, while acknowledging it never can be completely, precisely because in many ways, the only people who care about women athletics are women.

How much of the viewership for athletics in general is comprised of men? So women, faced with the reality that men just don't really care all that much about women's athletics, also faced with the reality that they want the chance to face one another in the highest level of competition and be recognized for their achievements, push to be included, pushed to be recognized, push to make it financially viable for competitors....basically they push to be relevant in a world that doesn't really care.

If it weren't for the efforts of women to keep recognition for this sport as high as possible, how quickly would it revert to, say for example, college tennis in general. Sure, there's a few diehards that really keep an eye on it but even in these forums most people haven't a clue about college tennis. Sometimes it's okay to further an agenda whether there's any rational or logical argument to support it, simply because it's a nice thing, and ethical thing, to do.
 
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syc23

Professional
Women should get paid less if they're working less hours.

How would you guys like it if some woman in your work is the same level as you but get paid the same as you but are only required to work Mon-Wed and you have to do Mon-Fri?

Doesn't sound so fair now is it not?

If they want to make it fair, maybe pay all players by the hour but we know it's never gonna happen.

Alternatively make everyone play BO5 but logistically it would be a nightmare fitting all the matches in 2 weeks. It would be a LOLfest for the likes of US Open trying to schedule R1 over 9 days…..
 

firepanda

Professional
The reality, regardless of whether it meets rational argument or can "fit" into a logical construct, is that women are stilled viewed by and large as lesser in most societies, including most major and educated countries. It's just the reality and that above all trumps any "logical" argument. People may try to justify the need for equal pay, or vice versa, using logical or rational arguments but in the end it's just wrapping paper over the real, fundamental, issue.



I'd wager that women's tennis is probably the most successful sporting event for women regarding international recognition. I.e, women tennis players probably garner more attention and have been heard of on a much more consistent basis. I can't name one WNBA player, for example. The fact that nobody seems to care about "equal pay" in those sports is precisely the indicator that equal pay for women in tennis has little to do with any argument about equal work, equal value, equal so on and so on. It's about women doing everything in their power to try and convince those with money to share some with them so they can build a foundation that's as self sufficient as possible, while acknowledging it never can be completely, precisely because in many ways, the only people who care about women athletics are women.

How much of the viewership for athletics in general is comprised of men? So women, faced with the reality that men just don't really care all that much about women's athletics, also faced with the reality that they want the chance to face one another in the highest level of competition and be recognized for their achievements, push to be included, pushed to be recognized, push to make it financially viable for competitors....basically they push to be relevant in a world that doesn't really care.

If it weren't for the efforts of women to keep recognition for this sport as high as possible, how quickly would it revert to, say for example, college tennis in general. Sure, there's a few diehards that really keep an eye on it but even in these forums most people haven't a clue about college tennis. Sometimes it's okay to further an agenda whether there's any rational or logical argument to support it, simply because it's a nice thing, and ethical thing, to do.
Tennis does an excellent job in featuring women equally to men. The top earning female athletes are Sharapova, Williams, Li and Azarenka in fact (because of endorsements, not prize money). This does not translate to equal prize money, however, particularly for slams where the women play less/bring in less. Women's tennis isn't popular because of the fact women earn equal prize money, it's popular because they share some tournaments with men and are featured equally.

Performance or time? Make up your mind, if you can. They are two different principles.
Both are valid perspectives. In referring to performance as well as time, he is catering to both.

More people are interested in the top 64 women than they are in male players 65 to 128 so do male and female players subsidize them as well?
I'd say people would be more interested in 65-128 men than 20-64 women. Regardless, the op 64 women should make more or similar numbers to 65-128 men by virtue of advancing an additional round.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Tournament directors create joint events because it is excellent commercially. They are not forced to do so. They want to.

Performance is the main criteria, not time, and commercial vitality does not depend on the length of a match.

Indeed, they keep inventing new tricks to reduce the length of a match, so the five versus three set argument is silly.

I'd say people are interested in the stars mainly and that means that the top women are much more important than all but the best men.
 
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