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Do men always get the upper hand in sporting deals?
The battle for equal rights for men and women is an age old battle. Whether it is in politics, sport or daily working life, it is a constant struggle. Men always seem to get the upper hand when it comes to sporting deals, T.V deals and sponsorship deals.
When the issue is brought up in sport, many “experts” tend to wade in and tennis is no different.
Earlier this year, 7-time Grand Slam champion, John McEnroe commented on the quality of one of the all-time greats, Serena Williams.
The American said “she would struggle to break into the top 700 if she competed on the men’s tour.”
Williams, the 23-times Gland Slam title winner, said these comments were not “factually based” and just based on the assumption that all women are inferior to male athletes. These comments came at the time when Serena Williams and her partner were expecting a baby, so the comments were poorly timed.
First Male Player
Andy Murray has continued to speak up for gender equality in all sports but particularly in tennis.
Earlier this year he won widespread praise for correcting a journalist who claimed that Sam Querrey had become the first “first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009”.
As the journalist continued Murray spoke up and said “first male player” to which he was perfectly correct. The Scott cannot stand for this casual sexism. The journalist did not go out of his way to insult Williams but it was his negligence and lack of women’s tennis knowledge which annoyed Murray and most of the tennis community. It’s not the first time Murray has spoken up to correct unaware journalists.
After claiming Olympic gold for the second time in the Rio Olympics last year, the Brit put BBC commentator John Inverdale right back into his place after being congratulated on being the first to win two gold medals in tennis.
He replied instantly saying “I think Venus and Serena have won about four each”.
It shows how aware Murray is with the female circuit and not just his own discipline. It’s a breath of fresh air to many of the contenders battling to be treated the same.
Tennis Women Make The Same Sacrifices As Men
The 3-time Grand slam champion and all round good guy, Andy Murray has once again come out in support of female tennis players. As he says himself, he never set out to become a spokesperson for women’s equality but he just felt that he needs to speak up and say his piece.
Murray reckons that due to his time working with Amelie Mauresmo, it gave him an insight into attitudes to women in sport and, because it was quite unusual for a male tennis player to be coached by a female, he is often asked about that.
Now he has taken things one step further with an essay written for the BBC News, where he discusses the future of tennis and the barriers to gender equality that the sport must overcome.
“People often underestimate the amount of work that it takes to become a top tennis player. And that work ethic is the same whether you are a man or a woman”.
It is a very interesting article and one I would recommend reading to anyone wanting to get a clear and concise view on the gender gap.
Tennis has always been the shining light for gender equality in sport.
Women’s tennis has long been labelled as a win in gender-equality. The four Grand Slams pay equal prize money to men and women, while it’s one of the few sports that have produced female players equal to the stature of their male counterparts.
The proof is in the attendance numbers for each Grand Slam final, the figures are identical. The fans see both finals as amazing spectacles with tickets for both equally hard to come by.
Tennis is a model all codes should follow. We just need to eradicate the negative and old school methods of thinking that has blighted many sports regarding gender equality. People like John McEnroe should be reprimanded after making out-dates comments that have been constantly seen over the past few decades.