Forbes released its annual list of the World’s highest-paid athletes, and on a list of 100 names, precisely no woman athlete is found in the 2018 edition.
According to CNN, at least one woman and no more than three have been featured on the list since it expanded to 50 names in 2010 (it’s now 100). That means anywhere from 94 to 99 percent of the list has been occupied by men.
Most of the women who made the list were tennis athletes (Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Serena Williams.) With Na retired, Sharapova sidelined for most of the year after testing positive for banned substances and Williams missing most of the year during her pregnancy and the birth of her first child, nobody else made the cut. (The No. 100 highest-paid athlete raked in $22.4 million.)
There’s no better indication of where our society stands in the eyes of men’s vs. women’s athletics than not having a single female athlete inside the top-100 of the best paid in the world.
This is the everyday struggle for women in sports. Though there have been slight wins along the way, like the United States’ women’s soccer team signing an improved collective bargaining agreement, nothing’s changed on the macro level.
Something that is especially surprising about zero women making Forbes’ list
The results of Forbes’ list came in the months before, during and after the 2018 winter Olympics, a time where endorsers can swallow up the best and most marketable talents to promote their brands.
Despite this being skier Lindsey Vonn’s final Olympics, and the emergence of snowboarder Chloe Kim (who went viral on her own on Twitter), neither made the cut.
There’s change needed to properly compensate the most talented women in sports.
Ok, so who did make the list?
Topping the list is retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, who made $285 million, soccer players Lionel Messi at $111 million and Cristiano Ronaldo at $108 million, MMA’s Conor McGregor at $99 million and soccer player Neymar at $90 million in that order.
While the names up top are the faces of their respective leagues, the rest of the top-100 don’t fill out that way. Included are NFL quarterback Alex Smith at No. 20, and NBA starters Otto Porter at No. 69 and Nicolas Batum at No. 100.
A handful of the names on the complete list can only be recognized by avid fans of the sport, and many can’t be considered household names. That’s not speaking ill of them. Everyone should earn their money!
But it’s baffling that the most talented women in their field aren’t even making comparable wages to the second- and third-tier talents in men’s leagues.
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