Women, Sports & Equality

Daniyah H. - LLI Cincinnati

What  factors should be considered to be determine pay for professional athletes? There should be many factors that determine pay for athletes.  The text states that, “Title VII provides that an employer may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." Title VII provides this but it doesn’t mean that it is being provided.

In October 2000, A female place kicker Heather Sue Mercer filed for discrimination against Duke University. She was placed on the team after kicking a 28-yard- game winning field goal. Although she was on the team she wasn’t treated like she was. She was forbidden to dress for games and she couldn’t even sit on the side lines. She wasn’t even able to go to summer camp. She also had sexist comments threw at her by the former head coach Fred Goldsmith such as, why she didn’t prefer to participate in beauty pageants rather than football and more comments after that. He claimed that she was kicked off for her lack of speed, size and leg strength which kept her from being a player -- or did he kick her off because Heather is right and he didn’t want admit to being wrong?

Title IX states that “ No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." I think it helps but it doesn’t help enough. It increased the opportunities women are able to have in order to develop into athletes and into the students they should be.

In general when women, are given the opportunity, they are as capable as men are in all kinds of sports.

In the WNBA women get paid $220,000 a year and men are paid $13 million. Women athletes don’t get as much publicity as the men do. In my opinion if you were asked to name 1 possible women basketball player in the WNBA it would take you longer than it takes you to name 5 men basketball players in the NBA. If you are playing the same sport why wouldn’t you get paid the same amount each year?

The law consists of 3 tests that are required. One of those 3 tests looks at substantial proportionality to determine whether an institution is in compliance with Title IX. For instance, if you have 53 percent of women enrolled at a college, you must have 53 percent of any sports programs available for women. Another test is the history of expansion of women’s progress, which looks at if an institution is showing growth or not and if it is most likely going to last in the future. And lastly, full and effective accommodation of women’s interests can be considered which simply requires to make sure that all interests are satisfied.


  • Glover, William H., Jr. "Gender Participation Issues Related to Sports - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972." Web Blog Post. Lexis Hub - Practice Legal Commentary. LexisNexis, 3 March 2011.
  • Lloyd, Carli. "Carli Lloyd: Why I'm Fighting for Equal Pay." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 April 2016. 
  • Das, Andrew. "Long Days, Google Docs and Anonymous Surveys:  How the U.S. Soccer Team Forged a Deal." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 5 April 2017.
  • Rios, Edwin. "The US Women's Soccer Team Scored a Much-Needed Pay Bump." Web Blog Post. Mother Jones. 5 April 2017.