Whether you're AFL, football, union, league, tennis, golf, surfing or professional curling, the recent Matildas equal pay decision is a landmark moment for pay equality in sport. But to a lot of people, it seems completely unjustified. Here's what you should tell them.
We recently had the unenviable job of trawling through social media after the Matildas equal-pay decision to compile a 'best of' collation of the glowing reaction around the world to Australian football's decision.
But for every two or three congratulatory posts by Billie Jean-King or The New York Times, there was an outraged comment from someone, questioning 'How this is fair?'
Now some of these people are stupid pricks, but others make a genuine point:
No one is saying you don’t work as hard. You don’t get paid for hard work though, you get paid by revenue. An NBL player works just as hard as an NBA player so wheres their equal pay? Socceroos are subsidising Matildas. And anyone who challenges this new deal is “sexist” now?— karl (@yaboypilkington) November 5, 2019
The problem with social media is it's not the place for a considerate, educational conversation. Yet unfortunately, this is where society now has discussions about serious issues. So we can't just ignore these concerns.
If you try to see it from their perspective, it's easy to understand why many people would have a problem with the Matildas earning an equal 24% split in match revenue when they create far less than the Socceroos.
But their questions and statements rarely get responses and when they do, they're often decries of sexism or ignorance.
Many of these people are our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and boyfriends...and there are many women who don't believe in equal pay as well. Troublingly, we never hear from most of the people who hold these opinions. They are too afraid to speak up, because they know they'll get shut down.
But if we don't encourage them into an informed discussion now, we'll force them into a position where they feel unable to voice their concerns. They then become the silent majority and this is exactly how Brexit, Trump and who knows how many other 'surprising' election results happen.
If we want sustainable change, we have to engage.
So with this in mind, we've prepared the following 10 quick reasons why female athletes actually do deserve equal pay, so everyone reading this can arm themselves with fact-based, rational and inclusive arguments for when you come across somebody who just can't fathom why women would be paid the same for the same job...
BUT FIRST, YOU HAVE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT EQUAL PAY MEANS
Let’s be really clear. Equal pay means equal pay for the same amount of work under the same boss.
Nobody's claiming that W-League players should be paid the same for a 14 round season as A-League players are paid for 29, just like we're not claiming that a Caitlin Foord should earn the same as Carli Lloyd.
The argument is that female and male sporting teams, who have the same basic workload, responsibilities and amount of matches, be paid the same basic wage by their sport's governing body.
But here's the kicker: this should be the case even though male sporting teams generate more revenue than female. Here's why...