Women’s sports vs male sports: When will it be equal?


Madison Ehrhardt, Reporter

The Olympics were invented in 776 BC by the Ancient Greeks. Women were not allowed to compete until 1920. The NBA was founded in 1946, while the WNBA was founded in 1996. 

Even though women work just as hard as men, the inequality is still present. Addison Planz, an Urbana High School(UHS) field hockey player, said, “In a lot of male sports, there’s usually more fans, they are more respected, and for example in men’s basketball, you see a lot more fans show up to the games. In women’s basketball a lot fewer fans show up to games,” About 40% of all sports participants are women, but women’s sports only receive 4% of all sports media coverage. 

“Being a female athlete means that I have to work a lot more than some of the guys have to, in order to gain appreciation. It’s hard because sometimes guys might think that I play a sport for fun, but in reality it’s professional for me,” said Ella Marchand, a UHS girls soccer player. Hate comments from fans can cause women to lose interest in their sports, and it could discourage them. 

Women also get paid way less than male athletes do. Even though it is the same sport, female athletes work just as hard as male athletes.  

“I don’t think one should be paid more than the other, but I do think it should be equally for the sport at least. I get that they get paid because of viewers and popularity, but the female athletes are working just as hard as the male athletes. I find it unfair that they get more praise, more money, and everything in general,” stated Ella Marchand. Even while being in the face of discrimination, women’s sports has still been successful. But we don’t know what it could be like without the inequality.  

Every March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) holds a basketball tournament for both men and women’s basketball teams. This past March at the women’s tournament, they got one single set of weights and a couple of yoga mats in their weight room. At the men’s tournament, they got a weight room full of luxury equipment. The men also got way better food compared to the women. 

“Absolutely unacceptable. It was horrendous. Even from the weight room, to how they were treated, to the food. All that nonsense was horrible. How are you going to have a men’s weight room be absolutely ginormous, compared to having one little weight set for the women and some yoga mats,” said Alanna Tate, a women’s basketball player at UHS. The women who have worked all of their lives just to get to that tournament, end up getting treated unfairly, while at the men’s tournament, they get the best treatment. 

It is understood that the pay of the athletes are based on viewership, ticket sales, merchandise sales, etc. Since the athletes’ salary comes from these sales, the female athletes’ pay is lower than male athletes because they don’t make much money from those departments.

But if female sports were supported more, then the athletes could get a higher salary. They would make more money from the viewership and the ticket and merchandise sales. 

Female athletes should be treated just as fairly as male athletes. They should get equal pay, treatment, praise, and support from fans. Women should be treated the same as men. 



Adelphi University. “Male vs Female Professional Sports Salary Comparison.” Adelphi University Online, 1 July 2020, online.adelphi.edu/articles/male-female-sports-salary/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

https://plus.google.com/+UNESCO. “Gender Equality in Sports Media.” UNESCO, 9 Mar. 2018, en.unesco.org/themes/gender-equality-sports-media#:~:text=There%20continues%20to%20be%20an. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

Picture citation: Mervosh, Sarah, and Christina Caron. “8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality.” The New York Times, 8 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/sports/women-sports-equality.html. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.