Gender Bias in The Professional Sports Industry

There is a clear gender bias in professional level sports in the United States. This bias can be perceived in three different and unique ways. One way that this bias can be observed is in the workplace surrounding the professional sports industry. Women that are in jobs that relate to sports are discriminated against in different forms, such as finding it harder to be promoted and having to prove their worth in comparison to men. A second way this can be seen is in women and men’s team sports such as basketball, soccer, and baseball. In professional American team sports, the women’s teams are paid a substantial amount less than men that play the same sport. The final way that this bias is shown is in the form of media and what it portrays.

Women in sports-related jobs are underrepresented and undervalued. Out of 1,488 sports agents that work in the NFL, MLB, and NBA only 40 of them are women(Athletic Administration: No Longer a Boy’s Club). Out of 182 sports talk show on the 2014 “heavy hundred” from Talkers Magazine, a yearly report done by the editors of Talkers Magazine and the industry leaders in which they compile a list of the most important sports talk radio host in America, only two of the host are women. This can not be because of women’s lack of interest in sports because 45% of the NFL fan base are women , 47% of the MLPs fanbase are women , and 40% of the NBA are women(Athletic Administration: No Longer a Boy’s Club) Expand this idea more.

The women working in professional sports-related industries are also undervalued, 40% of women feel undervalued as compared to 9% of men who work in the same industry(Beyond 30% Workplace Culture in Sports Woman in June 2018 sports). Women’s sports surveyed 1152 men and 53% of women agreed it was easier for men to progress as well as 23% of men. The graph shown represents how men and women feel they are treated in their sports related jobs.The graph shows that 32% more women than men believe they are underpaid. It also shows how men and women feel that their gender limits their value, causes them to be excluded, causes them to be ignored, makes them have to prove themselves, and causes them to be excluded from banter. Although men feel these same pressure women feel significantly more which is how gender bias comes into affect. We should care about this bias because we as a society are constantly trying to move forward and treating the women badly and delaying their progression stumps our advancement as a whole.

Throughout professional level team sports, in the United States, a bias against women can clearly be seen. The maximum salary for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player is $111,500 while the minimum salary for National Basketball Association(NBA), an all-male basketball league, players is $525,093. A counter to this could be contributed to the difference in popularity and the difference in the games, the NBA’s has it players play 82 games compared to the 32 games women play, the men’s games are 28 mins longer, and they play with a farther 3 point line which makes it harder to shoot 3 pointers. Although these are good reasons for a pay gap according to Nancy Lough a Professor of Educational Psychology & Higher Education at University of Nevada, Las Vegas 22% of revenue from the WNBA goes to the players while about 50% of the NBA’s goes to its players. While the women’s revenue isn’t enough to give them enough for the players to receive 50% it is enough for them to have higher salaries. United States women’s soccer team experience the same bias but this bias cannot be due to popularity or the amount of money they bring in.

The United States national women’s soccer team right and 20 million dollars more than the male soccer team(Why Should We Care about the Gender Pay Gap in Professional Sports). Regardless of that they still only earn $99,000 per year while having to comply with stricter rules. The woman must play 20 “friendlies” which is the minimum number of matches that they would play in a season. The men on the other hand earn $100,000 if they lose every game and $263,320 if they win 20 games and get paid $5000-$17,625 for every game they have to play after 20 while the woman make no extra money(Why Should We Care about the Gender Pay Gap in Professional Sports). An argument can be made that the reason the men make more money than the women in soccer is because they have more sponsors but this is untrue. The United States Soccer Federation ,according to their website, do not have specific sponsors for men and women but have sponsors as an organization.

The gender bias in professional sports in the U.S can also be seen in the media. The media shows by us their bias towards women in very subtle ways. One way they push their bias is through making womens segments are 50% shorter than men’s. Along with less airtime segments shown, the women segments are more sentimental than the male athletes in the same sports presenting women sports as being more boring and dull than men sports. This means that instead of showing the high-intensity and exciting part parts of the games they show the woman hugging and cheering for each other.

Along with some already getting shorter and more sentimental air time, the sportscasters purposely make women’s sports more monotonous Sportscasters that are usually fun, upbeat, and talk at a fast pace become slow boring and dull when casting woman sports. The sportscasters also rarely use uplifting words such as “beautiful, amazing, and perfect” while as when describing mens sports they use these same uplifting words often. You can’t argue that this is not intentional but the fact it’s still there and it’s telling people and organizations who are displaying this bias.

In conclusion, gender bias in professional level sports in the United States is a major issue. Women want who want to join the sports industry feel unable to because they are underrepresented and undervalued. Sports industries as a whole separate because of this by way of advancement in the sports industry.