The Wage Gap in Sports

By: Mandy Antoniacci

Image Source: ThinkStock

Time is money, as the proverb goes.

Well, if time is our most valuable asset, it is crucial to make every second count. So what if we did, (actually count it)?

Expert Market
just saved us money, by taking the time to calculate per second earnings of those professional athletes we love. Those data were then used to draw a comparison to the male and female counterparts of each sport. And the figures are astonishing.

Originating from Forbes' most recent Annual List of the Top Paid Athletes here, Expert Market deducted exactly how much each athlete earned per second of play (meaning the active hours they were working on the field/court/ring).

High prize money and low ring time elevate the boxing and combat sports community, with Mayweather seizing the top position with an astounding $65,972.22 earned for every second he was in the ring. Also interesting to note, the top 3 alone earned nearly $100,000 between them, per second.

The chart below shows how the highest female earners across different sports fare against their male counterparts. Unsurprisingly, given the widely discussed gender pay gap in professional and college sports, the top females didn't reach the same heights as their male counterparts. Further exacerbating the issue, there are only four female athletes from different sports to compare due to the lack of females on the Forbes richest list. Also limiting the data is the dominance of tennis amongst highest earning female stars, as tennis serves as the exception where the prize pot is now the same in all major grand slam tournaments.

Ronda Rousey, an MMA fighter, was the highest per second earning female athlete.

Sadly, the wage gap in sports isn't a newly surfaced topic. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act . Yet 53 years later statistics show America's working woman still only earns 79 cents for every dollar that her male coworker earns.

In 1972 Title IX legislation was passed, requiring schools which receive federal money to provide equal opportunity and funding to male and female sports programs. However, according to a study published by the Women's Sports Foundation, female college athletes receive $183 million less than males in NCAA athletic scholarships.

So what exactly is the hold up here? Especially when now we know... every second counts.

You can access the full report from Expert Market, here.

This article previously appeared on Inc.


Mandy Antoniacci is a sports business Analyst, Entrepreneur and Columnist. She serves as an Executive Board Member, Investor, and Advisor to sports business companies, and as an Advisor to professional and retired professional athletes. As the Creator and Author of ChangeUp, LLC, Mandy builds companies and authors stories that help "progress the game". Follow her @MandyAntoniacci.

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