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The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that average women earn about 81% of their male counterparts’ earnings. According to the Federal body, the vast disparity has existed for over a decade and varies by industry. The legal sector has a huge difference at 64%. While this is exciting in advocates of equal pay, some progress is necessary, especially in professional sports.

Read on to learn more about how athlete compensation has changed over the last decade and wage equality trends in sports. You will also find the average salaries of male and female players in various sporting activities, including soccer, basketball, tennis, and some steps stakeholders have taken to ensure equal pay.

Although the pay disparity remained unchanged, one of the Forbes top-ten lists did. The top ten highest-paid female players in 2019 were tennis players when a decade ago, the list included golf and ice skating. There have been several initiatives to ensure equal pay among male and female tennis players.

Since the Women National Basketball Association’s establishment, the highest-paid female basketball player earns less than the lowest-paid male counterparts. According to statistics, NBA rookies received about 176% more than WNBA players.

While the gap narrowed slightly at the beginning of the 2010s, it later increased in less than a decade. The highest gap remains at the top. There have been several attempts to lower the disparity in basketball. Another difference in compensation came in the form of revenue sharing. NBA players receive about half of the league’s revenue.

The total revenue in soccer increased significantly between 2018 and 2019. While the earnings for male and female players have risen in recent years, there still exists a big gap between men’s and women’s salaries. The difference reduced slightly in 2020 by 50%.

On the other hand, tennis is among the few sporting activities where females earn more than male players. However, men are still ahead internationally. Nowadays, all participants in top tournaments receive equal amounts. This has been one of the initiatives to improve pay inequality in the sports industry.

However, recent suits and online battles show there’s still lots of work to be done to achieve the objective. Another sign of progress to achieve pay equity is that male and female tennis players advocate for a larger share of revenues.