April 2, 2016

"When I see a woman rip a 40-yarder off the goalpost, then I’ll agree they deserve more pay."

"When I see a woman control the ball, dazzle à la Maradona or Messi, then I’ll agree they deserve more pay. But they can’t and they don’t. The women’s game is good but so far beneath the men’s game, men’s skills... there’s no reason they should be paid the same..... And interesting that the other women’s sport screaming for more money, and getting it, is tennis — good as Serena is, she wouldn’t win a game off the 500th ranked male. Probably not a point on his serve."

A comment by one "Abie Normal" of San Marino, California on a NYT article about equal pay for female soccer players.

On that commenter's name...



On that "wouldn’t win a game off the 500th ranked male"....

98 comments:

Sebastian said...

Abie Normal doesn't get it. Equality is about wangling benefits for women.

But in sports as in life, the market (mostly, still, on the whole) decides, or should sorta kinda. If female tennis players draw a bigger audience, they should get paid accordingly. If the US women's soccer team draws a big audience of girls attractive to advertisers, they should get paid accordingly. Quality has nothing to do with it. Same goes for men's sports: Warriors vs. Syracuse wouldn't be pretty.

And of course, Abie Normal is right. Comparing male and female performance is absurd. Soccer and basketball differences are especially great.

mezzrow said...

And? This is old news, professor.

Mike said...

Abie is exaggerating the difference. Serena would do reasonable in the men's game. But he also misses the point. The point is not how good the athletes are. The point is *how much will people pay to watch them*. If the women's game brings in as much revenue as the men's, then they should be paid the same, regardless of skill. I have no doubt that men's figure skaters are, in some sense, "better" than women's. But women (I'm guessing) make more because no one will pay to see that.

Women's world cup athletes and men's should be paid proportional to the revenue their sport brings in. Women's soccer is big ... in America. Men's soccer is big .. world wide. The difference between the revenue streams is staggering.

rehajm said...

Yes, figure out how to get more people to look...

Interestingly although golf in the US has segregated championships the US Open has always been open to male or female competitors.

Ellen said...

Abie Normal is aware of mixed doubles, right?

mccullough said...

They should get rid of the US men's soccer team. They stink because the best athletes in this country play other sports. The women's team is actually very good. But women's soccer doesn't have enough fans. Let the sponsors pay their salaries. The SJWs can shake down the sponsors to pay the players as much as LeBron makes because they will complain they don't make as much as LeBron

Ann Althouse said...

"And? This is old news, professor."

It's new news that the female soccer players have organized to make demands. That's in the last few days.

The letter-writer makes an old argument, and what's new there is that the NYT put it at the top of its letters column today.

I'm interested in the behavior of the NYT and the persistence of a way of talking about women despite social pressure. Women are physically different, so their sports accomplishments should (I would think) be judged accordingly. That's why we have women's sports. You wouldn't disparage a middleweight boxer by talking about how he'd do against heavyweights. I would have thought that perspective on women's sports would be so dominant by now that people wouldn't say what Abie Normal said.

Bay Area Guy said...

Women are dishonest on this issue. Sometimes they demand equality, but sometimes they demand "separate, but equal treatment".

In the Medical field, they scream "equality!" In the Sports field, they scream, "give us our own teams!"

In many sports (golf, track & field), there should be just one team, with equal opportunities for men and women to make the team, based on fair and equal try-outs. Why should their be a separate women's golf team, for example? Funny, how women are mostly silent on this issue.

damikesc said...

You cannot really watch women's sports and argue that they are gifted as the men. Pick a sport and just ask "If a men's team played a women's team, who'd win?"

There is not one where you'd pick the women. Even in college basketball, I'll take any team in the NIT over the UConn Women's team, which is miles better than any other women's team.

MayBee said...

I don't think it's about disparaging women's sports, it's about whether or not people want to watch them. That's where the pay comes from.
Think of baseball- men's baseball. A lot of great male baseball players play college baseball, but nobody wants to watch it because there is a better version out there- MLB. Colleges and networks don't get revenue out of college baseball and the college baseball coaches don't make the money the football and basketball coaches do.

The same is true of most women's sports. There are better versions out there, usually the male versions. People like women's gymnastics and women's ice skating.

The idea that you should get equal pay just because you play the same sport is against the whole notion of competition, isn't it?

Bay Area Guy said...

In Basketball, the highest paid NBA stars make $25 Million year. In the WNBA, the highest paid stars make $107,000/year.

Why is that?

Well, millions of fans love the NBA, and have created a huge market for it. In contrast, neither men nor women really like the WNBA. In fact, I think it only survives due to extensive financial subsidies by NBA profits.

I'll believe women truly want equality, when they accept the concept of "equal opportunity" in fields where they are clearly inferior.

Sorry, can't have it both ways (equal treatment and special treatment).

Hagar said...

Irrelevant. It is showbiz, and you get paid what your agent can get for you.

virgil xenophon said...

My Father was a Hall-of-Fame collegiate tennis and basketball coach. When he retired to Palm Springs he established a now famous winter tennis tourney for collegiates. During the Riggs era he was in the stands at another tourney in Indian Wells and Chris Evert (then world #2) and some other female tennis players were sitting directly behind him and were discussing the male v female thing and the advantages in male strength, speed, etc. He overheard Chris say: "Hell, I'm number two in the world and I can't even take a set off my younger brother." (who was then, iirc, ranked in the world men's 300s)

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

(1) I sometimes watch soccer on TV, but I'm no huge fan. Forty-five minutes is a full dose for me. That said, those guys are pretty fucking amazing athletes. That's what I'm into, mostly.

(2) Watched men's figure skating last night. Again, pretty fucking amazing athletes. But they wear skin-tight, see-through blouses with sequins and makeup. You have got to be fucking kidding me. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you have to be a homo.

(3) Watched women's curling last night, as well. United States vs. Scotland. Not much in the way of astonishing athleticism but it was interesting enough. The women were all quite pretty. It's okay with me if they wear makeup.

rehajm said...

Pick a sport and just ask "If a men's team played a women's team, who'd win?"

Equestrian. Horse racing. Sailing.

Bay Area Guy said...

NASCAR since its inception in 1949 has been open to female drivers. So, therefore, Danica Patrick and the few other ladies are competing on the exact same terms as the men. They deserve a lot of credit.

NASCAR - a beacon of social justice!

Gahrie said...

Abi Normal is full of shit. The U.S. Women's National team are the best in the world, by far. They are the current world champs and Olympic champs...and by far the favorites to win the Olympics again. The WNT should be paid more than the men's team...they are far more successful.

Static Ping said...

Ann: You wouldn't disparage a middleweight boxer by talking about how he'd do against heavyweights.

Actually, that happens all the time. With rare exceptions, no one really thinks that the middleweight champion would be competitive at heavyweight. If the middleweight champion was to claim he was the greatest fighter in the world, that would be considered amusing.

Gahrie said...

More people watched the women win the last world cup against Japan than watched any other TV broadcast of soccer in English. They had more viewers than the last men's world cup final.

The american soccer federation is making plenty of profit off of the WNT, and they should be kicking that money down to the players.

mpeirce said...

> Equestrian. Horse racing. Sailing.

Interesting that in these three sports the human athlete is more a manager of the competition. The horse or the sailboat are the ones doing the majority of the work.

Michael K said...

" That's why we have women's sports. "

No, we have women's sports to suck up Title IX money. That's why men's minor sports are gone or are supported by donors like the Nike guy.

" Sailing."

Women are pretty good at small boat sailing. Big boats need muscle.

David said...

" I would have thought that perspective on women's sports would be so dominant by now that people wouldn't say what Abie Normal said."

Why? If it's not as enjoyable to watch because the female skills are lesser? Should minor league baseball players be paid the same as major league? The answer is obviously no. The difference here is that we are talking national teams, male and female, both sponsored by the same enterprise. So there is an argument that they should be paid the same because they are at the top level in their sex.

The problem is, while the women's soccer games are sometimes dramatic and entertaining, they are simply of a much lower level of skill. Some of this has to do with inherent strength, but a lot of it is skill development. Even in the parts of the game where strength is not a dominant factor, the women are not as good. I watched a lot of the women's world cup on TV last year when it was in Canada. Some of the games, including top matches, were terrible. Mistake after mistake and huge amounts of egregious fouling. Some of the fouling was deliberate and malicious (more than in the men's game it seemed) but some of it was due to pure clumsiness--lack of body control.

And there were lots and lots of empty seats.

I am a fan of women's soccer. The females are tough and usually well conditioned. They are gritty and play hard. But as an aesthetic matter, they are not close to the men, and strength is not the only explanation for the difference. They simply lack the skills.

And why are female pro golfers so interior in putting than male pro golfers. It's an embarrassment that is largely ignored. A few top female golfers can put reasonably well, but overall they suck, by male pro standards. Strength, speed etc have no bearing on this skill. It's mostly psychology and practice.

So pay the female soccer players the same because they are each on a national team. I have no problem with that, if they can pull off the negotiation, even if the attendance and fan interest is less. But don't pretend that except for strength and speed they are the same as the men. They are not. And they won't be until they get better athletes, train harder and longer and have better competition.

Michael K said...

"The horse or the sailboat are the ones doing the majority of the work."

Done any sailboat racing ? I had a football coach crew for me one time. He had not been in any races and thought he knew all about sailing. His tongue was hanging out half way around the course.

robinintn said...

Here's what will happen if the owners meet the ladies' demands for a special exception to market forces. Chick soccer will become unprofitable and cease to exist. It will then be spun as a conspiracy by the patriarchy to keep girl athletes down. Because powerful wymmen and misogyny and probably racism and shit.

Real American said...

These women negotiated their own CBA. Now they complain it doesn't pay enough. They shouldn't have signed on if they didn't like it. That's fine, they're negotiating a new one, but whatever pay they get should be commensurate with the revenue they generate rather than what the men get. Yes, they have more accomplishments than the men, but the it's not as if the competition (or fan interest) is even close to being the same.

They don't really play the same sport. Men play soccer. Women play women's soccer. Make a team open to the best players in the world - men and women - and it will be all men. You'd probably have hundreds of teams before women start to make the cut.

BDNYC said...

Relative talent isn't what determines worth. Serena might not be able to compete with a 500th ranked man, but women's tennis is very enjoyable as a spectator sport. That's what matters. It's all about what interests the fans and draws advertisers.

If women's soccer was commanding the same amount of attention and advertising revenue as men's soccer, they would have a point. It has nothing to do with whether a woman can compete with Messi.

chuck said...

You think the ancient Bobby Riggs was ranked as high as 500? I recall that match, an acquaintance of mine made good money off the bookies of Las Vegas on my advice. My reasoning was informed by experience. When I was a teenager my best friend's father was the tennis coach at Harvard and had been ranked #7 in the US when he was younger. When he was in his early forties he discovered that he could enter the town tennis tournament and made it to the finals using the same tricks as Riggs. I asked him if he was going to win. No, he said, his opponent in the finals was strong, aggressive and young. Let me repeat, young. I applied the same reasoning to the Riggs match and there was no reason to doubt that the tough, aggressive, much younger Billie Jean King would have a good chance to beat Riggs.

Curious George said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJLY9-RCQMU

khesanh0802 said...

I never thought so many dinosaurs inhabited Ann's blog. The US women's soccer team is at the top of their profession and they bring in more revenue to their soccer governing body than the US men's soccer team which is somewhere in the middle of its profession. Very simply pay them in proportion to their status in their profession and the revenue that they generate. Sure as hell we are going to pay a female brain surgeon more than a male general practitioner because she is at the top of her profession and generates more revenue than he does.

Sure, men's soccer is different from women's but the question on the table is who is better in the American soccer world, the men or the women? In this case it is the women hands down. Since they are better (and, once again, generate more revenue) they should be paid better. They have an excellent case based on the facts.

zd87 said...

Why isn't anyone talking about outside options? If the women were to leave the soccer team, how much money could they get playing a different sport? How much could the men get? Isn't it possible that to keep the men from leaving soccer for a more lucrative sport, you have to pay them more?

Or perhaps more plausibly, young athletes take into account the "prize" of making it to the top levels of each sport when they are developing their skills. If male soccer players were paid significantly less, then young boys would choose to develop football or baseball skills instead of soccer skills.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"I would have thought" Having heard opposing views from people who think differently about sports and gender, do you now think differently?

traditionalguy said...

Nobody wants reality limitations. Real competition is dull to the untrained. But Entertainment from rigged competitions is as old as ancient Field games and tournaments at Fairs.

Trump's friend owns WWF that puts on continuous shows using oversized men in tight shorts pretending to be in a wrestling contest to the thrill of middle age ladies and boys of all ages.Pretend everything does best. Pretend characters, pretend moves, pretend rules violations, pretend injury, pretend wins called by pretend referees.

It's AthletesTown, Jake. Don't try to figure it out too hard. Just remember it is never real and don't fire Cory.

Static Ping said...

Not to repeat other comments here, but pay should be based on revenue produced. If the women's team is awesome, which they are, and the men's team is a perpetual disappointment, which they tend to be, but the men's team brings in 10 times the revenue, then the men should be paid more. If a team of one-legged hunchbacks made 10 times the revenue of the men's team despite the fact that they could not beat most teams of 8-year-olds, then they should be paid more than the men's team. It's not complicated.

This is business, specifically the entertainment business. If the greatest bassoonist that ever lived can only get 50 people to show up to his concerts while a bunch of scruffy rockers who can barely play their instruments sell out stadiums coast to coast, the rockers get paid more. If a company builds a no frills, boring car that is incredibly popular and sells tons of vehicles, then they make more money than the manufacturer who makes the perfect car that no one wants. Disposal pop fiction Twilight nets more than the masterpiece volume on ancient Roman aqueducts that took a lifetime to write. Such is life.

Those that tend to argue that they are permanently underpaid tend to fall into two camps. The first are those that are actually being shafted by an unfair system, like athletes before free agency, or wage slaves in company towns, or blacks being discriminated under Jim Crow. They have a point as they would be paid more in a fair system. The second are those that think they are more valuable than they really are, either through delusion or because they value their skills more than other people do. Smart people doing smart work tend to get upset when they discover they are paid less than plumbers. I may have some sympathy for the second group, but they are not underpaid. From what I read, the women's team is in the second camp.

Sebastian said...

"I never thought so many dinosaurs inhabited Ann's blog. The US women's soccer team is at the top of their profession and they bring in more revenue to their soccer governing body than the US men's soccer team which is somewhere in the middle of its profession. Very simply pay them in proportion to their status in their profession and the revenue that they generate" Umm, the very first comment made the same point about revenue. Of course, revenue generated has nothing to do with "status in their profession": it all depends on what the "profession" is, and no one pays for "status." Women's soccer is a different "profession' than men's.

Static Ping said...

khesanh0802, you say that the women's team generates more revenue. I have not read that anywhere, and I have read the opposite. Link?

Fred Drinkwater said...

Michael K: I have biked the Alpe d'Huez, Mt. Ventoux, and Col de Telegraphe, of the Tour de France route. I have crewed in PHRF races in the SF Bay Area (Mastman, Main Trim, and Foredeck). I would say these are roughly equivalent physical endeavours (especially Main Trim. Oh My God.) But then, I was sailing to win, and merely biking to survive the climbs.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

Here's a link to a WSJ article about the women's suit. In case you hit a pay wall here are some key bits: "The federal complaint, which was unveiled Thursday, alleges that the players earn a fraction of their male counterparts for national team appearances—sometimes as little as 38%."; "U.S. Soccer estimates that the women’s national team will generate $17.6 million in event-based revenue between April 2016 and March 2017 based on a slate of up to 27 matches, according to the budget it proposed at February’s Annual General Meeting. (Those include a post-Olympics tour and an end-of-season tournament.) Over the same period, it expects the men’s team to bring in $9 million for up to 12 matches."; "The U.S. women’s team doesn’t receive bonuses for qualifying for the World Cup either, since their record makes it almost a formality. The men’s team, however, receives a $2.5 million bonus to be divided among its players."

Given some of the information in the rest of the article it is very clear to me that US Soccer is playing games with the money. US women's soccer will bring in about twice the revenue of men's, play more games and yet the women will be paid significantly less. I say "Right on, girls".

khesanh0802 said...

@ static ping See the WSJ article. The US women's team generates more than the US men's. Worldwide the men draw a great deal more. The complaint is about the US Soccer Federation.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Sebastian I used a specific example from the "medical profession". Which you ignored or did not understand. The suit is being brought by a team in the US Soccer profession. But use almost any profession as an example: marketing? the top people get paid more; computer programming? the same; precision machinists more than machinists? yes. FIFA will try to obfuscate the facts (FIFA - don't get started on them), but it won't fly.

damikesc said...

Well, millions of fans love the NBA, and have created a huge market for it. In contrast, neither men nor women really like the WNBA. In fact, I think it only survives due to extensive financial subsidies by NBA profits.

It's also endlessly amusing that the NBA is threatening to pull the All Star Game out of Charlotte because the state doesn't support requiring gender-neutral bathrooms...but the NBA won't do gender-neutral leagues.

I'll say women's gymnastics (well, on the collegiate level --- in the Olympics, the creepy factor is high) is more enjoyable to watch then men's. Not because "OMG, they be hot yo" but because gymnastics is not a sport where lots of power, IMO, makes a more enjoyable performance. You need power and grace and a lot of men don't do grace well.

And I've seen enough things to make one wonder if King won legitimately. He did take out the #1 women's player in the world that same year. So he wasn't an old and befuddled as he looked in that match. He knew his job was to be the foil and he played it. I've seen WWE matches with less blatant intentional losing.

Abi Normal is full of shit. The U.S. Women's National team are the best in the world, by far. They are the current world champs and Olympic champs...and by far the favorites to win the Olympics again. The WNT should be paid more than the men's team...they are far more successful.

If they played, head-to-head, who'd win? And I doubt attendance is really in the women's favor, either.

Trump's friend owns WWF that puts on continuous shows using oversized men in tight shorts pretending to be in a wrestling contest to the thrill of middle age ladies and boys of all ages.Pretend everything does best. Pretend characters, pretend moves, pretend rules violations, pretend injury, pretend wins called by pretend referees.

Tragically, most real part of it are the seriously damaged necks (neck surgery is astonishingly common...and if you watch what they do, not terribly shocking) and concussion problems.

I applied the same reasoning to the Riggs match and there was no reason to doubt that the tough, aggressive, much younger Billie Jean King would have a good chance to beat Riggs.

Riggs beat #1 in the world that same year.

Know what sport women get paid about the same as men? MMA. Ronda Rousey makes as much as any man on the roster for her fights. Why? Because people, in droves, pay to watch them.

Sad that she seems to be leaving UFC for films, but women aren't underpaid. Athletes are paid their worth usually.

Here's a link to a WSJ article about the women's suit. In case you hit a pay wall here are some key bits: "The federal complaint, which was unveiled Thursday, alleges that the players earn a fraction of their male counterparts for national team appearances—sometimes as little as 38%."; "U.S. Soccer estimates that the women’s national team will generate $17.6 million in event-based revenue between April 2016 and March 2017 based on a slate of up to 27 matches, according to the budget it proposed at February’s Annual General Meeting. (Those include a post-Olympics tour and an end-of-season tournament.) Over the same period, it expects the men’s team to bring in $9 million for up to 12 matches."; "The U.S. women’s team doesn’t receive bonuses for qualifying for the World Cup either, since their record makes it almost a formality. The men’s team, however, receives a $2.5 million bonus to be divided among its players."

On a per-event basis, the men generate more revenue. $.75M per appearance as opposed to $.65.

Static Ping said...

Note on Serena Williams. Earlier in her career (1998), before she or her sister Venus won a major, they faced off against a man Karsten Braasch in one set exhibitions. He was ranked #203 in the world at the time and beat both of them easily (6-1 vs. Serena, 6-2 vs. Venus). I'm not sure if I should believe all the details that have been promulgated about Braasch's preparation because some of it seems too good to be true, but according to reports his idea of training regimen before the exhibitions was beer, cigarettes, and a round of golf. He also claimed he didn't try that hard. The 500th ranked male thing in the comment probably comes from Braasch, as he claimed that anyone in the men's top 500 would do just as well.

Christy said...

I had season tickets to the Orioles during almost all of the Ripken, Jr. years. The year they moved to Camden Yards, the AAA Bowie Baysox used old Memorial Stadium. I found myself at a game there and loved it! Same stadium where I'd spent years enjoying games was suddenly more intimate. I felt more invested in the players. Cheering from the crowd seemed more targeted, more closely familiar with the players. No prima donnas (sexist alert, I guess. Hanging my head in shame.) All those guys were playing their hearts out, trying to make it to the show. Vastly entertaining.

Fact is, I found myself delighting in a t-ball game once when two outfielders sat in the grass talking and paying no attention to a hit ball rolling out to them. The runner on second base gave them a disgusted look and ran to retrieve the ball. I choose merriment over sublime in sports.

For me quality of play can be subsumed by other factors. But what do I know. I'm a girl.

Note: Pat Summit got some big bucks. She filled the seats.

The winning $2M soccer women needed a better agent negotiating their bonus. They certainly made more for the sport this past year than the $8M 11th place men. With luck Trump will be available

Anthony said...

It's not just the performance of the national team or how much money they bring in that determines salaries. It's also how much the players will commit their time to and for what money. A top-level man would probably not do it for less than $XXX amount that he has to take time away from his off-season or whatever.

Players are only worth what someone is willing to pay them and what they are willing to accept.

rehajm said...

Given some of the information in the rest of the article it is very clear to me that US Soccer is playing games with the money. US women's soccer will bring in about twice the revenue of men's, play more games and yet the women will be paid significantly less.

This is an excellent point though for sports where the women receive revenue subsidies we also need to call it 'playing games' with the money.

Static Ping said...

khesanh0802, you will note that the federation is claiming that the men still bring in more revenue, or at least did until now. It is not unusual to be underpaid temporarily due to new developments. This happens with male athletes all the time: you get paid for what you were worth when you signed the contract, not what you are worth now.

I do find it odd that they keep talking about winning the World Cup and the Olympics as meaning something for negotiations. It is still about revenue. Winning should bring in more revenue, of course.

damikesc said...

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/9589625/the-match-maker

Great article on Riggs vs King.

PWS said...

Andy Murray was interviewed on sports radio last week and was asked whether Serena Williams could win a game against him; he said yes. Murray is currently ranked #2 in the world. Plus, who said pay is only based on ability? Isn't it based on entertainment too?

mezzrow said...

I'm interested in the behavior of the NYT and the persistence of a way of talking about women despite social pressure. Women are physically different, so their sports accomplishments should (I would think) be judged accordingly. That's why we have women's sports. You wouldn't disparage a middleweight boxer by talking about how he'd do against heavyweights. I would have thought that perspective on women's sports would be so dominant by now that people wouldn't say what Abie Normal said.

It's market driven, and we can speculate on why. Men should be paid according to the revenue they generate, as should women. Gender does dictate physical differences, and this discussion will likely never die. Abby's reaction makes sense only a second and a half into analysis.

Changing the point, I begin thinking about Horowitz vs Joshua Bell (and Hilary Hahn, for that matter). One of these is not like the other. These artists are not just heard these days, they are seen. I think that this has a lot to do with where you're headed here. It's more than just gender issues. (see F. Zappa - "I'm So Cute" - 1978)

Howard said...

Blogger khesanh0802 said...
I never thought so many dinosaurs inhabited Ann's blog.

Thanks for the data on the pay-scale controversy, but your naivete regarding the commentators on this blog is quite stunning. It is an everyday occurrence that the chicken-hearted male gendered of this blog will reflexively cluck about how much bigger and stronger men are because they themselves are so weak and powerless: they feel the need to inflate their chests and brandish their "guns".

I love Title IX. When I was in HS, the girls had volleyball, tennis and swimming. Now, they are playing as many sports as there are players wanting to play. Our society has made great progress because we have chosen to make our girls smart, confident, strong, competent and competitive. These are all pagan Viking traits, not that middle eastern monotheistic hairshirt judeoislamochristian bullshit. Compare how we treat our girls to our mortal enemies, radical Islam. They want the exact opposite and they will fail because of they are afraid to maximize the potential of their human resources because they themselves are weak and pathetic... just like the Althouse haters.

By the way, the same goes for all of the misfits, including handicapped, eccentric, autistic, Aspergers, minorities, immigrants, the gay and transgendered.

Many of the regular Althouse denizens are weaklings who want crazies locked in institutions, girls to be baking cookies and cheerleading, the gays to be limited to offering them closeted blowjobs in airport men's rooms, the trannies to be available on Sunset Blvd when they are out for a walk on the wild side, the latinos mowing their lawn and the blacks on a one-way trip back to Africa.

bbkingfish said...

" Isn't it based on entertainment too?"

The answer is yes.

Women's tennis has rivaled (and sometimes exceeded) the popularity of the men's game for more than 40 years now. They have no trouble selling tickets, attracting TV viewership, or getting sponsors.

The same is not true in golf, soccer, or basketball, where the differences in quality of play is too obvious for the women to attract the same levels of interest.

mikeyes said...

The United States probably has more soccer players that any other country in the world other than China. According to FIFA stats only Germany has more registered players and the US certainly has more officials than anyone else. If this appeal for more money on the part of the women is market driven, I can guarantee that the performance of the men's team is not driving those stats.
How about just a dollar an official ? (There are almost 800K officials in the US.)

eddie willers said...

Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking.

eddie willers said...

My interest in women's tennis peaked with Anna Kournikova.

mccullough said...

Not enough women support women's sports. It doesn't have much to do with quality. The US women have a great team.

And men's college football and basketball are very popular even though the NBA and NFL players are light years ahead of most college players, who will never sniff the pros. But people love their SEC football and Notre Dame football.

Maybe most women aren't into sports and no matter how much you tell them they should be they don't agree. And most men don't follow women's teams.

jr565 said...

it gets worse once we start thinking that being a woman is a gender construct and not based on sex. Because then we could have men competing with women.
Women who think they are men wouldn't be a factor since, in most cases, they are not able to compete against biological men. But men who think they are women might in fact dominate.

jr565 said...

most sports FANS are men. One of the problems with female sports is that women aren't really coming out to support the teams. Because they dont' generally, care about sports. ANd men don't care about womens sports because, well... it's shit.

why pay top dollar to watch women play who are simply not that exciting to watch. and if people aren't going to pay the money, expect the salaries to be reflective of that. If women want more money for the players then put your money where your mouth is and start going to all the games. Like men do. Otherwise women are expecting men to pick up the slack, and men don't really care to.

jr565 said...

Hey Howard. You are free to buy tickets to Womens Basketball. Why don't you?
Get all your sissy buddies to do the same. (sissy as in metrosexual pajama boy types)
Oh, they don't want to pay for tickets either?
There's your problem.

damikesc said...

I love Title IX. When I was in HS, the girls had volleyball, tennis and swimming. Now, they are playing as many sports as there are players wanting to play.

They used to have men's wrestling teams in most schools. Lots of men's gymnastics and diving teams.

They don't have those in a lot of places now.

Thanks to Title IX.

If boys work together to improve their field, they aren't allowed to do so unless they do the same for the girls. Not "The boys got money from the school", they raise the money THEMSELVES and they still cannot.

Thanks to Title IX.

Rape tribunals now are horrendous kangaroo courts.

Care to guess why?

rcocean said...

Unless its the world cup, I find soccer tedious to watch. I'm always amused at the American soccer fans and their constant propaganda for their sport. That is, "Futbol" is the greatest game ever, and if Americans don't want to watch its because they're stupid xenophobes who don't appreciate the "beautiful game".

What's funny is that is many parts of the world soccer is thought of as the Plebe sport, watched only by beer-guzzling Yobs. The foreign sophisticates prefer other sports.

rcocean said...

There's a big difference in speed of serve between the Men's and Women's tour. The Top 15 fastest recorded men's serves: 149-163 MPH. The Top 12 fastest recorded women's serve: 124-131 MPH.

The difference is 24-31 MPH. Serena wins on the Women's tour because of incredible fast serve and hard-hitting ground strokes. On the Men's tour she would simply be average or below average. She couldn't beat the Men power players and the Men finesse players would run her into the ground.

Howard said...

jr and dami: Thanks for proving my point by being the new-age neutered male victimologists that the chicken-hawk teabagging right has become.

Christopher said...

So consistently beating a lousy field doesn't result in instant respect? Damn, there goes my plan to become the world light heavyweight champion by only fighting quadriplegics.

Static Ping said...

PWS, I believe Serena could take a game from Andy, assuming we are using the tennis definition of "game" which is the 15/30/40/game thing. Winning a set is highly improbable (6 games) and winning the match is extremely unlikely even if it is best out of 3 sets, unlike the men's game where it is typically best out of 5 (at least for the majors). I also wonder how many games they would have to play before it became more than a 50% probability that Serena wins. Could be 10. Could be 100. Could be 1000.

But, as you say, it has no relevance to what they should be paid.

Phunctor said...

I don't care about women's sports. I don't care about who wins the Special Olympics, for similar reasons.

As always, the response is "You will be made to care.". As always, it's about power and dominion.

mikeyes said...

The USSF doesn't garner their income from owning soccer teams, it gets it from member fees and other sources mainly from children and their parents. They pay the national teams but most of the members of these teams have separate contracts with professional teams that vary according to the value the teams place on them. What the women are asking for is equal pay for the national team, not for soccer in general.
You can compare their athletic skills all you want, but the USSF has been paying the men a lot more for mediocrity while the women are the Olympic and World champions and have been either number one or two in the world since 2003. Those numbers have attracted USSF members for over a decade.
I know it is a lot to ask of a FIFA related governing body to be fair but since the USSF gets its money from over 4M members and these members are there due to the woman's team successes, then USSF is probably hurting themselves by not making sure that the women (who are vastly underpaid in league play compared to men for the reasons mentioned above) are happy. If the women players decide to not play for the US, then a lot of young USSF members and their parents will be exiting the union and the cash cow will be dead.

khesanh0802 said...

@mikeyes Thank you for keeping your eye on the ball- so to speak!

damikesc said...

jr and dami: Thanks for proving my point by being the new-age neutered male victimologists that the chicken-hawk teabagging right has become.

You misspelled "providing facts when I failed to do so" there.

MadisonMan said...

Done any sailboat racing ? I had a football coach crew for me one time. He had not been in any races and thought he knew all about sailing. His tongue was hanging out half way around the course.

And yet, the most work -- a force through a distance -- was done by the wind hitting the sail. Controlling that is work, too, indeed tongue-hang-out-inducing work, but the amount to control it dwarfs the amount being done by the wind.

A similar statement could be made about Equestrian events. The horse does far more work than the Jockey.

Christopher said...

This whole thing reminds me of the Michael Sam kerfuffle at the NFL draft, remember how all of the cause-heads were absolutely sure that the reason he wasn't drafted in the first round was because he was gay. It couldn't have been because of his lack of skills or physical ability.

Everybody else just rolled their eyes and prayed that their team wasn't going to be the one the NFL forced to draft him.

Fen said...

I applied the same reasoning to the Riggs match and there was no reason to doubt that the tough, aggressive, much younger Billie Jean King would have a good chance to beat Riggs.

I thought that not to long ago, Riggs came out and admitted it was a setup for him to lose, for the publicity.

MadisonMan said...

Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square
Eternally noble, historically fair
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
What can't a woman be like that?

james conrad said...

I don't think it matters if Riggs threw the match, he was 55 years old, hello?

CatherineM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CatherineM said...

Well according to their own financial disclosure, Women's soccer is financially more successful by $20million. And they win and are by far more popular, so I am sure that brings in additional income for the league.

So if women win more, make more money for the league, but are paid less, why are you pretending the male players are better? Why are you bringing up Bobby Riggs? If you were at work and were generating more income and recognition by far for the company than your co-worker, would you say, "that's ok, my co-worker can bench press 100lbs more than I can?"

Paul said...

Question is, do as many people watch woman's games, like soccer or tennis, as those watching men's? See, promoters make money off games watched. If more people, paying people, watch men's games more, then promoters pay men more as they bring in more viewers.

Simple economics.

Once this is understood then no doubt they will call the viewers sexist/racist/misogynist.

Jonathan Graehl said...

mccullough, men's soccer in the US is fine. better per capita than india + china. close to japan.

Jim Harvey said...

Besides the fact that US Women generate more revenue for the federation than the men, as stated several times above and in NYT comments, they are more pleasing to some soccer fans, like me.

The 2011 world cup final vs Japan was probably the best soccer match I ever watched.

I say pay them more. The weenies who run the federation identify with the men, but the men are not going to strike if their pay were cut to pay the women more: they have so much to gain from being on the national team, far more than the women.

Why did NYT highlight Abie's comment? It is a good, succinct statement of that side of the argument. And, the screen name plays nicely off Abby Wombat's name.

Rich Rostrom said...

Dr. Richard Raskind was a strong amateur tennis player. One year he won the U.S. Navy championship. But he was far below any pro player.

After the change of sex, Renée Richards became a ranked professional. Richards was then over forty, and according to Richards' memoir Second Serve had lost much upper body strength due to female hormone therapy.

Another example is in weightlifting. Male and female lifters compete in weight classes. The classes don't quite match up, but the 56 kg men outlift the 58 kg women by 24%. The 62 kg men outlift the 63 kg women by 33%. The 69 kg men outlift the 69 kg women by 25%. (Current Olympic powerlifting totals.)

khesanh0802 said...

@damikesc In business you first try to maximize revenue in order to give you an opportunity to maximize profit ( always remembering"don't buy sales"). Your per appearance comment is bogus. If anyone thought they could maintain the $.10 advantage over an equal number of appearances they would be making the men do so.

fivewheels said...

You people who are believing that the women generated more revenue than the men are hopelessly gullible and naive. You're swallowing the line of b.s. their lawyers are spinning in their one-sided filing and that the NYT parrots without question -- it's equivalent to believing "the defense attorney said the guy didn't do it, so it must be true!"

To simplify, they're basing the women's revenue figure on 2015, a World Cup year, and acting as if that revenue will happen every year, as opposed to having to spread it out over the four-year cycle. The men's World Cup was in 2014. In effect, they're pretending the annual revenue comparison is $20 million for the women and $0 for the men in a year, when it's actually $5 million a year over four years for the women and like $140 million a year over four years for the men.

The men are paid vastly more than the women, but taking their pay as a percentage of revenue, the women are paid more than 4X more.

LarsPorsena said...


My interest in women's tennis peaked with Anna Kournikova.
My interest in women's tennis piqued with Anna too.

jr565 said...

Howard wrote"jr and dami: Thanks for proving my point by being the new-age neutered male victimologists that the chicken-hawk teabagging right has become.

new age? Your characterizations are a wee bit off. Where do you get, new age? Or neutered? Or male victimologists? If anything you sound like pajama boy social justice warrior. Who is probably into new age things. But in a stereotypical beta male fashion.
Go take your girlfriend to her womens softball game and hold her purse while she plays, you pansy.

jr565 said...

And Howard, you were dismissive first, and obviously attempting to troll, so don't go crying about dismissive comments directed back at you.

But the truth of the matter is sports are market driven. Peoples salaries in those sports reflect how much they bring to the table in those sports. The reason that womens sports are not as popular is that women are not as strong as men and their sports are boring to watch in comparison. (with a few exceptions).
And because those sports do not bring people to the table to the same degree it is reflected in the salaries. So how do you fix this?
well you have to find ways to get people into the seats. Men don't seem to be interested. they can watch exciting sports, or boring sports. And therefore choose the ones that are exciting.
But women are not going to sports games to any great degree. So there's your market. You have to find ways to draw women to games. Or find ways to make the games exciting for men. Maybe show some tits and ass.

Really though, the problem is women. If they don't support the sport, people don't get paid So why aren't they supporting their sisters?

Howard said...

jr: That's all very interesting, but irrelevant. I'm happy you got your blame women lick in there... very studly of you. You still don't explain why you don't want school girls to play as many sports as the boys.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-09-26/the-nfl-is-growing-only-because-of-female-fans
This trend seems fitting. It's obvious male sport voyeurs are a little latent in their loafers... not that there is anything wrong with that, eh jr?

Douglas said...

All that matters is the market and what customers want to see and will pay for. The quality in absolute terms of the male or female athletes is irrelevant. If more people wanted to pay to see women play some sport and were willing to buy the products advertising that sport than wanted to watch the men and buy the products advertised during the mens' games, then the women should get paid more. I would bet (not knowing the facts but just guessing) that women beach volleyball players get paid more than the men. It's just business, strictly business, and neither the quality of the athletes nor gender equity have anything to do with it.

jr565 said...

"jr: That's all very interesting, but irrelevant. I'm happy you got your blame women lick in there... very studly of you. You still don't explain why you don't want school girls to play as many sports as the boys."

where did I blame women, and for what? And who says that women can't play the sports? The question was why aren't they getting paid as much as the men. And I'm telling you why. You social justice warrior beta males are not paying for the tickets for the women's sports. And so, there is no market for women's sports (with a few exceptions). So, why not stop insulting your imaginary view of tea partiers you've conjured in your bets male brain and get some of your sissy boys to buy some damn tickets for the sports that no one seems to be gong to.
But my guess is. You are just as bored by them as everybody else is.

The proof is in he pudding. I'll believe some are into women's sports and making sure women get paid as much as men when women are the audience at a sporting event and are willing to give up time and money to follow their sport the ways guys follow theirs.

jr565 said...

Howard, most women are not football fans. Those that are are football fans because their dad or their boyfriend were footballs fans and its part of their culture. That is not the norm for most women, who are really not into football at Ll.
But there's the problem. Why are those women following men's football and not, say, women's soccer? I think you have your answer right there.
Sports are market driven. If women's sports aren't paying the women as much as men, there isn't the market for those sports that there is for men's sports. And, as you seem to suggest a lot of women are growing football.
Have you seen anyone interested in women's basketball as a sport? Even women? I'm not. Basketball fan, but no one I know who is one cares about women's basketball. And I don't know a lot of women who would pay tickets for a game. And so, there salaries Are reflective of that lack of interest.

Jack Wayne said...

Considering that the SJW's are opening the Olympics to trans, we could be witnessing the death of women's sports. Or perhaps we will see a multiplicity of leagues depending on the genetics. Ultimately won't that result in a premier league of people who compete based simply on performance? Can't wait for the 100 meter dash of robots!

chillblaine said...

Women's FIFA World Cup audience: 750 million
Men's FIFA World Cup audience: 3.2 billion

Women draw a relatively larger proportion of viewers in the United States, but it's still a fraction. If anything, the women are overpaid.

PeterK said...

while female tennis players are paid the same as men they don't play the same number of matches. Serena Williams plays best 2 out of 3 while Rafael Nadal plays 3 out of 5? where is the equality. Women are being paid more for playing less.

and yes the skill level of female soccer players is lower than that of the men.

Char Char Binks said...

Riggs was never really all that great a tennis player. He won the US Open once, back when it wasn't a huge deal, and Billie Jean wasn't really all woman, if you know what I mean. She had more his-mones than her-mones.

David said...

"It's also endlessly amusing that the NBA is threatening to pull the All Star Game out of Charlotte because the state doesn't support requiring gender-neutral bathrooms...but the NBA won't do gender-neutral leagues."

The NBA is gender neutral and race neutral. It's the neutrality that results in no female players and a disproportionately low percentage of white players.

Pettifogger said...

Whether female players are inferior or superior to male layers is irrelevant except to the extent that bears upon the real issue: How much profit do they generate for the team owners? But even then, nobody should be telling team owners how much to pay. They should pay no more than they must to attract the talent they need. That's how owners pay the male players.

If that results in women being paid less than men or vice versa, so be it. It may be unfair in some transcendental sense, but not all the unfairnesses of the world are amenable to correction without creating worse problems. Were the government to dictate soccer salaries, the women's league might get smaller or might fold altogether.

Women will command higher pay as soccer players when they are more valuable to team owners.

mikeyes said...

We are not talking about team owners in this case. We are talking USA Soccer, the NGB for soccer in the. US. The women players are responsible for the generation of members and soccer players much more than the men and especially this past year and this Olympic cycle. If the owners of professional women's soccer teams want to pay a lot less, that makes sense as men's soccer overall is much more popular, but the NGB for soccer in the US owes it's success to the women's team who have been number one or two in the world for over a decade while the men are ranked much lower and often never get out of pool play in major international tournaments.

So your point is correct but you are talking about the wrong owners.

jr565 said...

"while female tennis players are paid the same as men they don't play the same number of matches. Serena Williams plays best 2 out of 3 while Rafael Nadal plays 3 out of 5? where is the equality. Women are being paid more for playing less.

and yes the skill level of female soccer players is lower than that of the men."

Yes exactly. A literal case where the argument that a man earns more for the same work is proven to be false, since in fact men do a lot more work here.

mikeyes said...

Tennis players are not paid by team owners, they are paid by sponsors and the prizes that they win. Maria Sharapova makes more money than Serena (as does Roger Federer) but the woman's game is watched by more on TV and TV revenues are very important in the game. The fact that men play more sets is irrelevant since, as usual, money talks.