Author Topic: Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.  (Read 3593 times)

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Offline BitterBlueBong

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2005, 10:45:39 PM »
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The "problem" is when people think of the "best," they generally think of men.


What people? Certainly none that I've met.

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If we're talking about Wimbledon, if they can prove that they hold just as much sway with ticket buyers, sponsors, and TV viewers as the men, then they deserve more prize money.


But why would we shift the burden of proof to the women? I think they need equal pay unless it can be proven that they don't hold the same sway. And how do we know one way or the other? Wimbledon says so? When people attend the slams, I'm sure there are particular players they want to see. But you don't buy tickets to men's tennis or women's tennis at the slams...you buy tickets for the day (or part of the day, or however you want to slice the pie). So how would something like that be measured?

Of course I'm not sure what the situation is like outside of the U.S., but I think it's fair to say that women's tennis is equally, if not more, popular than men's. Compare ratings for grand slam finals in the past three years. See who's making the "who's who" lists. See who's on the magazine covers. See who's making "extracurricular" appearances. See who is being written/talked about. Based on those factors, Roddick, Venus and Serena have everyone beat (actually, Serena has everyone beat, but that's another story).

And while Federer might be "the best," I'd say that Venus, Serena, and Sharapova have more drawing power than Federer here in the states.

Offline MC ill Logic

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2005, 11:39:01 PM »
Quote from: "BitterBlueBong"
What people? Certainly none that I've met.
What I'm saying it pretty trivial.  When people don't assign greatness by sex, the best man of any sport is almost always considered the very best human on the planet at it.  Boxing... basketball... cycling... etc.
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But why would we shift the burden of proof to the women?
Technically, the burden should be on them as they're making the initial move.  The debate begins with their accusation of unfairness, so it seems only fair that the burden be on them.  This is usually how it works in law and formal debates.
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I think they need equal pay unless it can be proven that they don't hold the same sway.
Are female professional tennis players the exception?  Or should this standard be applied to women in all professions?  Should female boxers, basketball players, soccer players, etc., all get equal pay until/unless their professional male counterparts provide conclusive proof that the male version is more popular and generates more revenue?

Unless tennis is an exception, how would your thinking apply to professional basketball, soccer, and boxing, just to name three?
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And how do we know one way or the other? Wimbledon says so? When people attend the slams, I'm sure there are particular players they want to see. But you don't buy tickets to men's tennis or women's tennis at the slams...you buy tickets for the day (or part of the day, or however you want to slice the pie). So how would something like that be measured?
I don't think it would be too tough, as there are two tours, the WTA and ATP. Except for at a select few tournaments the equal prize money issue is moot.  In theory, I don't see why measuring the popularity, level of interest, revenue generated, and whatever other factors, of each tour and doing a side by side comparison of the numbers wouldn't give a reasonably accurate measure of their respective economic sway.  I'd imagine you could do this with the NBA and WNBA, too.
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Of course I'm not sure what the situation is like outside of the U.S., but I think it's fair to say that women's tennis is equally, if not more, popular than men's.
I don't know why it's fair to say.  From what I see men's tennis is more popular.  Tennis is pretty much the second most popular sport in the rest of the world, so we should probably ask some people in other countries, but I'd be willing to bet that overall men's tennis is the more avidly followed tour.
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Compare ratings for grand slam finals in the past three years. See who's making the "who's who" lists. See who's on the magazine covers. See who's making "extracurricular" appearances. See who is being written/talked about. Based on those factors, Roddick, Venus and Serena have everyone beat (actually, Serena has everyone beat, but that's another story).

And while Federer might be "the best," I'd say that Venus, Serena, and Sharapova have more drawing power than Federer here in the states.
I agree with you here.  Serena and Venus, whatever they're getting, probably aren't getting nearly what they "deserve" in terms of broadening tennis' fanbase. Richard Williams once said something about the WTA giving his daughters money for all the publicity they generate for the tour in general, and I didn't think it was such a crazy idea.  

The WTA is more character driven.  They're much more open about their rivalries, and we know the backstories of girls like Serena, Venus, Dokic, and Sharapova.  Even Mary Pierce.  Throw in problem child Capriati.  Too candid for her own good Hingis, and hottie Anna K.  The ATP doesn't have that.  It's like the guys are too professional or something.

With that said, if the tournaments who have women and men playing at the same time decided to sell tickets for men or women matches only, unless the top men's seeds don't show up for some reason, I would feel safe betting money that the men's tickets would sell better.  Even when women players talk about who they like to watch, they generally name a guy.  That's my opinion.  I feel pretty strongly about it but I don't have any numbers to back it up.  

In the end I feel okay with the idea of a free market determining what people make.  Sure, it sucks a lot of times, but in the absence of an infallible ethical guidebook addressing these matters, it may be the fairest thing we have.

Offline timd818

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2005, 11:46:43 PM »
Here's a good example. I went to the WTA Championship for the last 2 yrs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There were so many empty seats it's not even funny. The tennis itself is pathetic and boring, it's at about high school boy's level. It seems they're moving in slow motion.  I've also attended a few UCLA men's tennis matches and I could safetly say that they would "DESTROY" any women on the WTA tour, past or present. Houston don't seem to have a problem getting good attendance for the ATP Championship. Equal pay or not, I would rather see the ATP instead of WTA.
I've been a tennis bum for half my life.
I'll just be a bum for the other half.

Offline jjw

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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2005, 02:51:10 AM »
to keep this "argument" going. :)
Adding up de "major tournaments" a surprising fact comes forward. The women are not generating the prizemoney revenue as the men are.
The numbers:
ATP  54.85 milliom
WTA 32.75 million
This is excluding slams and only the majors. The gap will become even greater if other tournaments are added up as well.
The gap is close to 22 million dollars.

jjw

Offline MC ill Logic

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2005, 05:24:14 AM »
JJW,

You wouldn't happen to know what the averages are would you?  For the tier 1 level tournaments, that is.

Offline MC ill Logic

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2005, 05:30:17 AM »
Here's a Wertheim response to this question from a Mailbag in May, 2003.  
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Be assured that you are not alone in your frustration with the All England Club. Last week's announcement was hardly shocking, but it was disappointing nonetheless. Quite apart from simply doing the right thing (and, in the process, not alienating half the field), you'd think that by now the women have justified themselves economically. If memory serves, didn't the women's doubles final achieve superior worldwide TV ratings to the men's singles final last year? Does anyone really think that men's runner-up David Nalbandian generated more buzz last year than his female counterpart, Venus Williams? Wimbledon trots out this "scientific evidence" that fans prefer men's tennis to women's. You get the feeling that some guy straight out of a P.G. Wodehouse novel stood outside Centre Court after Tim Henman had played and asked 20 of his friends if they prefer men's tennis.

What's particularly exasperating is that the difference is so minimal, it's more symbolic than anything else. A few hundred thousand dollars -- the budget for petunias, a member joked a few years ago -- would extinguish the entire controversy. But this has echoes of Hootie Johnson-like defiance. One suspects the members are saying to themselves, We'll give equal prize when we bloody well feel like it. Not at the point of a Wilson Hammer. Someone ought to explain to these guys that you can sustain tradition without being socially regressive at the same time.

Having said all that, the odds of a boycott are less than slim. Even if it were possible to organize the players (after that, we'll invent a perpetual-motion machine), the stakes are too high. The Slams have the players -- and the tours -- over a barrel. Despite the inequity, WTA players are still paid better at Wimbledon than at any other event this side of the U.S. Open. Despite the inequity, there are still beaucoup ranking points at stake. Despite the inequity, it's still Wimbledon! The average pro will play at the All England, say, eight times in her career. Is she really going to miss a turn over a political issue?

To his credit, Larry Scott, the WTA Tour's new CEO, who seems to have significant early support among his constituents, issued a statement condemning the unequal wage scale: "While I am somewhat encouraged by Wimbledon's decision to increase singles prize money by an amount that exceeds that of recent years, I am disappointed that Wimbledon has once again failed to address the longstanding inequity between men's and women's prize money."
I've often thought Jon to be a politician, not just on this issue but several.  I don't think he wants to alienate the people he has to maintain close relationships with in order to keep his job and serve his junction.  But, to his credit, he is pretty candid about how he feels about Serena and Venus' excuse making.  Yeah, it's a gray world.

Offline Tennis4you

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2005, 07:32:40 AM »
Quote from: "MC ill Logic"
Are female professional tennis players the exception?  Or should this standard be applied to women in all professions?  Should female boxers, basketball players, soccer players, etc., all get equal pay until/unless their professional male counterparts provide conclusive proof that the male version is more popular and generates more revenue?


That is a good point...
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Offline BitterBlueBong

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2005, 08:06:05 AM »
Yes, tennis players are the exception. I'd be hard pressed to think of other sports where popularity is anywhere near equal.

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Technically, the burden should be on them as they're making the initial move. The debate begins with their accusation of unfairness, so it seems only fair that the burden be on them. This is usually how it works in law and formal debates.


This is why I love the diversity of opinions brought forth from message boards. :whistle

Tennis and the NBA/WNBA are apples and oranges. But I'd love to know why you think men's tennis is more popular here in the states.    Anyway this is my last post on the subject. Have at it.


Offline val

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2005, 08:48:59 AM »
The women deserve equal pay, especially in a sport like tennis where the women's game is competitive and exists well apart from the men's game.  Maybe when the WNBA has 60 years of tradition we can talk about them.  Same for women's boxing.  But right now, the women's tour is a quality tour and it's been a quality tour for decades.

I think the women should strike, though they won't.  It'd bring Wimbledon to it's knees, with everyone talking about the women and completely ignoring Federer.

Here's part of the problem with women's tennis.  It's almost as if the women mature too quickly.  Women don't get much stronger in their 20s it seems, unlike the men who get physically stronger in their mid to late 20s.  When a Martina Hingis retires before she's 20 and a Monica Seles before she's 23, we miss the opportunity to see players grow from good to mythic status.  Martina Navratilova is too exceptional in that she's still playing, but if we'd had 10 fewer years of her career the women's game wouldn't be where it is now.  And the women's game suffers and we have to still have these kind of conversations in the 21st Century.

Offline Tennis4you

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2005, 08:51:20 AM »
lol, a strike would certainly stir things up.  It would suck for the fans though.
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Offline jjw

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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2005, 08:54:19 AM »
MC the average I can come up with quickly is 1.590.000 for 9 tournaments. Leaving the masters out.

Popular does not autamatically bring money, but I think everyone knows that outside of womens tennis.
If the womens sport is so popular and they generate so much money , where can we see this? The WTA does not manage to get the tour loaded as the ATP. Saying that it should be means the management of the WTA is failing?
Is that the case?

Offline MC ill Logic

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2005, 09:38:41 AM »
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This is why I love the diversity of opinions brought forth from message boards. :whistle
That is how it works.  The person making the claim bears the burden of proof.  If you would like to argue otherwise, go for it.  :whistle doesn't really say anything at all.
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Tennis and the NBA/WNBA are apples and oranges. But I'd love to know why you think men's tennis is more popular here in the states.  Anyway this is my last post on the subject. Have at it.
If you're not going to respond, why bother?  If you do choose to post again, I'll be more than happy to respond.

Offline Tennis4you

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2005, 09:43:51 AM »
I love the differing opinions too.  We all agree on a lot of stuff here which is cool, but it also nice to know we are actually different.  What we have to remember is to not take anything to heart just because someone doesn't agree with our ways of thinking.  (I am not the best at it, but nto the worst either)

Either way, I cannot wait to kick your butts at Tennis.  (void note for McIll, Timd, and Jamesdster :) )
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline MC ill Logic

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2005, 09:47:13 AM »
Quote from: "val"
The women deserve equal pay, especially in a sport like tennis where the women's game is competitive and exists well apart from the men's game.  Maybe when the WNBA has 60 years of tradition we can talk about them.  Same for women's boxing.  But right now, the women's tour is a quality tour and it's been a quality tour for decades.
The equal pay thing is only an issue in regards to 1 or 2 tournaments, 3 to 4 weeks a year -- that's something to keep in mind.
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When a Martina Hingis retires before she's 20 and a Monica Seles before she's 23, we miss the opportunity to see players grow from good to mythic status.
Hingis quitting is the worst thing to happen to tennis in my lifetime.  She was my favorite female player and nobody even comes close right now.  Actually, I'm interested in seeing more of Molik.  

JJW,

I'd like to see some numbers.  I'm sure it's got to be online somewhere.  

Like TimD brought up, the WTA Championship in LA has been an embarassment and disaster.  Even in the mecca of American tennis, if I do say so myself So-Cal is, the event is a failure.  I'd be willing to bet, though, that if the Masters Cup came to LA, it would do gangbusters.

Offline jjw

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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2005, 10:47:07 AM »
What numbers are you looking for, MC?

jjw

Offline kittens25

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2005, 12:22:17 PM »
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And while Federer might be "the best," I'd say that Venus, Serena, and Sharapova have more drawing power than Federer here in the states.


      The only reason Federer has less drawing power than Serena, Venus, Sharapova, Roddick, and Agassi, in the states is he is neither an American, nor a perceived sex symbol, nor a major source of controversy.   Those three things combined make him appear to be a "no name" to the typical small-minded American sports fan or sports media guy.   It doesnt matter if you are one of the most talented players people have ever layed eyes on, are quite good looking in a more wholesome way, are intelligent, polite, friendly, and well spoken.   If you dont fit one of the magic three you are a no-name in the U.S.   Well in this case I would say who cares what the U.S thinks, Roger you rock and you kick the asses of all five of these people anyday for me!!!!

Offline Tennis4you

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2005, 12:52:03 PM »
:lol-sign:
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Offline kittens25

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2005, 12:57:21 PM »
Lets just face it, Roger rocks, that is all tennis needs, Roger winning alot!   It may give the ESPN weekend talk guys like Mike Lupica heart attacks but heck I think I could live with that.    :uh:

Offline gm3106

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Davenport and equal pays for men and women's tennis.
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2005, 01:07:12 PM »
I'm in favour of equal prize money from the 4th round onwards, because the early round matches are so rarely competitive. In the men's, it's not unusual for a top seed to have to pull out 4/5 set wins in the early rounds, but in the women's by comparison, Serena and co. are winning 6-0 6-2 in 50 mins.