'Pay Gap Is Still Very Big': Pegula Addresses Pay Disparity In Tennis

'Pay Gap Is Still Very Big': Pegula Addresses Pay Disparity In Tennis

by Evita Mueller

Jessica Pegula once again brought the topic of the pay disparity in tennis to the forefront as it continues to become a very big talking point.

The pay disparity in tennis has been a huge talking point for much of this year, as many former and current players discussed it. It's easily provable by simply looking at the prize money of events that are supposed to be equal in terms of prestige.

There are only a handful of events that hand out equal prize money, and it's something that's been part of the struggle of being a woman in tennis forever. Players have quite rightly been outspoken about it in recent years, with Jessica Pegula being one of those.

The American has been in tennis for a very long time and has seen it up close, making her opinion on it more than valid. Most recently, she talked to Forbes about the disparity.

Women’s tennis is a huge sport for the highest-paid female athletes. It’s a huge global sport. But at the same time, the pay gap is still very big. We always talk about how it is equal in the slams, but that’s four tournaments a year. It is not equal in a lot of the other tournaments. Our season is very long. 10 or 11 months practically. There’s a huge difference we’re still working towards.

The question is quite controversial in the broader topic of more and more prevalent gender wars, which are unfortunately having huge effects on society in general. Equality is a rather basic want for those who don't have it, and it should be respected.

Right now, it is impossible for events to pay out equal prize money, which is something Pegula knows well. The women's side of the sport needs to be marketed better so it can grow and hopefully catch up to the men's side.

I think we need to do better at marketing for our game, which hopefully, I think the WTA started a new partnership with a private equity company that’s going to come in and kind of take the commercial side and hopefully revamp the marketing. I think getting more stories out there of all the incredible players we have.

Equality has become something a lot of industries are trying to enforce but sports and entertainment is a complicated one. Hopefully, a concentrated effort will get us there, although it will take time. Pegula is hopeful.

"Hopefully it will next year and we’ll start getting better TV deals and all of that. We’re trying to start the path for equal prize money with some circuit structure changes that are starting next year. Hopefully we see that pay off in the next few years where we get more of these tournaments at equal prize money."


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