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Gender should not determine athlete salary

Alex+Morgan+chases+after+the+ball+in+a+game+against+Japan+on+June+5%2C+2016.
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Gender should not determine athlete salary

Alex Morgan chases after the ball in a game against Japan on June 5, 2016.

Alex Morgan chases after the ball in a game against Japan on June 5, 2016.

via Wikimedia Commons

Alex Morgan chases after the ball in a game against Japan on June 5, 2016.

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Alex Morgan chases after the ball in a game against Japan on June 5, 2016.

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In many sports, including baseball, softball, basketball and soccer, female athlete salaries are very different from that of their male counterparts. Gender is the only component causing the difference in the income of athletes at the professional and national level. Research by Adelphi University shows that female athletes are paid, at most, 77% of what male athletes are paid.

Playing Major League Baseball has its benefits for the players due to their high paying salary. Bryce Harper, who plays for the Washington Nationals, has an annual salary of 13 million dollars. In addition, the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout has a yearly income of 33 million dollars. For softball, the National Pro Fastpitch’s (NPF) salary cap is $150,000 according to the Huffington Post. As a total, the amount still does not compare to the salaries of professional baseball players, but this amount decreases for the players’ salaries since it must be divided amongst all of them. Because of this, professional softball players are only paid five or six thousand dollars and rarely have salaries above $20,000.

The minimum salary of an MLB player is approximately $480,000, which is still greater than any professional softball player’s annual salary. On the Atlanta Braves, second baseman Ozzie Albies and pitcher A.J. Minter both have a salary of $555,000, which is one of the lowest salaries in the MLB in 2018. Although professional baseball players in the MLB are undoubtedly more well known, they should not have salaries that are hundreds of thousands more dollars than the salaries of professional softball players in the NPF, who work just as hard.

At the national level, softball salaries are still lower than MLB salaries. Jennie Finch, former USA softball pitcher and first baseman, has a salary of $150,000, which is still no comparison to the players in the MLB even though she played for the USA team for nearly a decade. The greatest softball salary is the record breaking one million dollar contract deal with one of the current USA pitchers, Monica Abbott. However, to most MLB players, Abbott’s one million dollar salary is nothing compared to theirs.

Since baseball and softball are technically not the same sport, the salaries of the players are not expected to be exactly the same. However, when comparing male athletes in the National Basketball Association (NBA) to female athletes in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), there is no reason the salaries should not be close since they’re playing the same game.

According to Sports Management Adelphi, the average NBA salary is at least $4.5 million, whereas the average WNBA salary is only $75,000. In the NBA, both Lebron James and Stephen Curry make over 30 million dollars a year. On the other hand in the WNBA, Sylvia Fowles’ salary is only $210,000.  Even though the NBA was around for 50 years prior to the WNBA, the salaries of the athletes should not be as far apart as they currently are.

In addition to baseball, softball and basketball, national league soccer also shows the unfair salary difference between female and male athletes. Cristiano Ronaldo, a male, is a forward on the Portugal National Team, and similarly Alex Morgan, a female, is a forward on the USA National Team. Since they’re both on a national league team and they’re both forwards, you would think their salaries would be relatively close because their job is the same. However, that is not the case. Cristiano Ronaldo currently has a salary of 29 million euros, which is approximately 33 million US dollars. On the other hand, Alex Morgan currently has an average salary of only $450,000. That is a huge difference, but why? They play the same game, at the same level and the same position – the only difference is their genders.

Female and male athletes playing the same sport like basketball and soccer or even playing sports that are very similar like softball and baseball, should not have salaries that look like a penny compared to a one hundred dollar bill. Female athletes work just as hard as male athletes and dedicate most of their time to the sport. Gender should not be a component that determines an athletes salary, but instead use their successes to determine how much money they make that year.  

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