'Can't Beat The Truth': Venus Williams On Fighting For Prize Money Equality

'Can't Beat The Truth': Venus Williams On Fighting For Prize Money Equality

by Evita Mueller

Prize money equality in tennis is a hot topic, and Venus Williams contributed greatly to it over the years as a professional on the WTA Tour.

Billie Jean King started the whole thing 50 years ago by refusing to get paid any less than her male counterpart. It led to the US Open handing out equal prize money, becoming the first Grand Slam to do so. It's been 50 years since then, and unfortunately, the topic is still a hot one.

Grand Slams give out equal prize money, a huge win for women's tennis, but the majority of the events don't. The fight is still going on, and Venus Williams is right there in the thick of it. She was instrumental in getting Wimbledon on board for equal prize money back in 2007 and reflected on it recently.

When it happened, it was almost surreal. I think there's a part of you that -- it's sad to say -- that gets so used to not having it that I just assumed we're going to be fighting for another 20 years.

The memory of how everything unfolded is still very vivid for Venus. She met with the Grand Slam Committee in London and pleaded her case for why equal prize money is the one fairway.

So I was playing this tournament, Wimbledon. I was arriving to the finals. Every year they have this meeting with the Grand Slam Committee. It's very proper. You go into this room, it's a boardroom. It's a little bit boring, to be honest, but I didn't say that. It's not on record. It's off the record, everybody.

At that point I went into this room and I asked everyone to close their eyes. I said, 'Now that your eyes are closed, you don't know if that person next to you is a man or a woman, but everyone's heart beats the same way. Would you want your daughter or your sister or your mother or your wife or a loved one that was a woman to be paid less?'


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