We at Sporty Girl Books hope that this Team USA win inspires a whole new group of young players to take up soccer and any other sport they want. To keep the momentum going, major networks need to continue to embrace women's sports during prime time not because it is a duty, but because action-packed sporting events with highly-skilled athletes are good for business. Audiences want to see the amazing level of athleticism that happens in every women's sport on the national and international stages.
Although Sports Illustrated editor Andy Benoit has apologized for his tweet, "women's sports in general not worth watching," he aired an opinion I'd presume a lot of sports journalism gatekeepers are keeping to themselves. Hopefully the television viewing numbers for this evening, again reveal that the market is strong for prime time women's sports. The more coverage and advertising dollars there are for women's sports, the more these athletes and their coaches will be paid.
The following is from the Women's Sports Foundation website:
Gender Inequity in Professional Sports
- Total prize money for the PGA tour, $256 million, is more than five times that of the LPGA tour, $50 million. Similar discrepancies exist throughout professional sports.
- For a WNBA player in the 2005 season, the minimum salary was $31,200, the maximum salary was $89,000, and the team salary cap was $673,000. For NBA players in the 2004-2005 season, the minimum salary was $385,277, the maximum salary was $15.355 million, and the team salary cap was $46 million.
- For finishing in third place in the 2003 Women's World Cup, each U.S. women's national soccer team member was awarded $25,000. They would have received $58,000 if they had won the Cup. For reaching the quarterfinal of the World Cup in 2002, the U.S. men's national soccer team members received $200,000 each.
Celebrate Team USA's win with sparklers, paint your face red, white, and blue and then--as is the American way, write a letter to the editor or tweet to your favorite network. Let the editors and producers know that you want more women athletes and their sports featured during prime time. We shouldn't have to wait another 16 years for women athletes to get this kind of press.
-Anna E. Jordan