When you click on ESPN’s website homepage, it gives headlines for recent news in the sports world. The first article is most likely about men’s basketball, and the second is about men’s hockey, tennis, or baseball teams, etc. Finally, after you scroll down long enough, you can find a WNBA headline about how women are “making history”, followed by another three articles on men. Women’s sports make up only 9% of the online newsletter and 10% ofTwitter posts, while men’s sports dominate the industry and news.
Even though it may not seem like a big deal, media coverage is a considerable part of sports, and the less you have, the fewer viewers teams get, which lowers athletes’ paychecks. The salary ratio between an NBA player to a WNBA player is $5.3 million to $130,000, annually. The National Women’s Soccer Team launched a lawsuit in 2016 for equal pay and won, and tennis player Billie Jean King gained a lot of national attention on the issue. In “battle of the sexes”—a nickname given to the game where Billie King and Bobby Riggs faced off—King beat Riggs in all three matches, which helped debunk some ideas of women being less athletically talented. To help the cause, you can donate to the Women’s Sports Foundation, email ESPN about their coverage, or even just watching women’s sports is supporting them. Though news coverage is low, mainstream sports media like ESPN and CBS claim that they are working harder on supporting women’s teams but only time will tell.