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Purse Equity in Professional Sports: The Foundation Position

Content Summary

Professional male and female athletes should receive equal purses when they are participating in the same competition (e.g., Wimbledon, X Games, a professional rodeo championship) that includes both male and female athletes participating in the same or comparable events. When men’s and women’s leagues are separate events in the commercial marketplace and operate solely on the dollars they earn, salaries of players may rightfully differ among leagues, whether male or female athletes are involved. But when men and women compete in the same sport venue for which a single ticket is offered and television advertising and rights fees are generated, any reason used to justify higher pay or purses for one sex over the other should be questioned.


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