It's Been a Long Time Coming

   By drodriguez  Sep 12, 2007

A world famous tennis tournament recently took a long awaited step in the right direction toward equality. Wimbledon, which started holding tournaments in 1877, announced earlier this year that it would finally pay women equal prize money.

Though the wage gap between men and women has progressively gotten smaller every year, Wimbledon officials always held tight to the practice of paying men more than women players. Just last year Wimbledon insisted their practices were fair when they were criticized for paying the men’s champion $1.170 million while paying the women’s winner $1.117 million.

The Wimbledon Club chairman Tim Philips has always defended the tournament’s position by stating that men should receive a larger purse because they play best-of-five matches while women play best-of-three.

One of Wimbledon’s most prominent players, Maria Sharpova, disagreed with Phillips’ stance when she said, “I understand that our TV ratings at the Grand Slams are pretty much equal to and often better than the men. So I don’t understand the rationale for paying the men more than us.”

Wimbledon’s past practice of paying men more was a point of contention and confusion from the start. In 1968, Wimbledon was the first of the four Grand Slam events to welcome women players when the Open Era began. This pioneering piece of history prompted many people to ask how Wimbledon could now be the last of the four Grand Slam events to offer equal pay.

In response to Wimbledon’s decision to give equal prize money tennis champion, Serena Williams, has said, “It’s a step in the right direction, I mean, for just not only tennis, but just for women’s sports and just for women all.”

What do you think of Wimbledon’s decision to pay equal prize money to women players?

Do you think they waited too long to make this decision?

Make a Comment

dephco by dephco | Greenlawn, NY
Oct 18, 2007

I agree with wendys' comment, it's not fair for men to get equal pay as women when they are doing less work. Besides I think more people are watching mens tennis than womens tennis.

wendys by wendys | Buena, NJ
Sep 30, 2007

Equal pay for equal jobs. The women should play best of 5 or they should both play best of three then it would be equal pay for equal work which is what we all want.

N4ncy by N4ncy | Goldsboro, NC
Sep 16, 2007

I think inequality will be fixed, job by job. We've seen that all anyone needs to do is bring it to the attention of the media and it will be fixed. Although, I don't agree with paying the women tennis players less than the men, I feel that there are probably women with more to lose that could use someone championing their cause. I'd like to see the microscope turned on the amount of money we pay for the jobs we value. Do we value our tennis players more than our teachers? Seems so.

pinkheathermm by pinkheathermm | SINGER, LA
Sep 14, 2007

It's great they finally decided to right a wrong! It's time women get treated fairly to men.

smiddlemore by smiddlemore | POST FALLS, ID
Sep 13, 2007

No time like the present to right a wrong. This is a great move on the part of Wimbledon to pay equal prize money to women players it encourages other young ladies interested in the sport to pursue a career in tennis, this in turn boosts tennis popularity and increases ticket sales and TV rating for Wimbledon. Many officials may be kicking themselves for not making this decision sooner because it's really a win-win for all.