The wage gap is alive and well in 2018 and tennis superstar Martina Navratilova is not happy about it. The tennis icon might be able to beat John McEnroe, but her earnings for appearances at Wimbledon? Not winning.
She said in a BBC Panorama documentary that she earned less than her male counterpart. Ten times less, to be exact.
It’s hard to really compare exactly because some people work a little longer days, maybe a few more programs or whatever. But overall, it was a shock because John McEnroe makes at least 150,000 pounds. I get about 15,000 pounds for Wimbledon. And unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon, he’s getting at least 10 times as much money than I am for very comparable work.
Navratilova covered the Grand Slam tournament and made several other appearances, while McEnroe made three times the number of appearances and was paid a lot more for them. BBC Sport responded and said that McEnroe's appearances and participation in the tournaments were of "a different scale, scope, and time commitment."
A BBC spokeswoman said:
Along with Sue Barker, John is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage. He is a defining voice within the BBC’s coverage. He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences and his contract means he cannot work for another UK broadcaster without our permission. His pay reflects all of this – gender isn’t a factor.
Like the spokeswoman pointed out, a lot of people don't think this has anything to do with gender. Rather, McEnroe has more experience and has had more time in the spotlight than she has, making him more marketable.
Some people are agreeing with this and claiming that he is paid a fair amount:
I don’t think this is the pay gap example to rally behind...— james markert (@kidskilz) March 19, 2018
Yeah, McEnroe being paid ten-times what Navratilova is is more than fair, seeing as McEnroe is one hundred times more interesting!— 🇨🇦 (@Robert_Stadnyk) March 19, 2018
Sorry but McEnroe is a bigger name in general. Martina was big but he stands out more and therefore would probably command a larger audience which would indicate a higher salary.— Brent Dicks (@BrentDicks) March 19, 2018
They're doing media. His media resume is much greater, he's always on screen somewhere, and he's a more marketable personality. She says she's just on for 2 weeks. They aren't being paid for their trophies, although their reputations in the sport are a factor.— Jennifer Cherry Rose (@hillbilleter) March 19, 2018
Still, some people aren't buying it and think it's an excuse to pay women less for the same job.
“It makes me angry for the other women that I think go through this.” Navratilova said.
Not really shocking but disgusting truth of how all women are treated and always have been!What’s really disturbing about this is I remember Martina as being a person of tremendous talent and integrity while playing tennis as Compared to John McEnroe’s talent at throwing tantrums— LadyLiberty (@reenieshouse) March 19, 2018