Equal Pay for Equal Play?

Serena and Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2015

Serena and Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2015

Look at the Williams sisters, in this photo. Do they look capable of playing five sets of tennis? As it happened, they played only two.

Serena, the younger with a far better record, polished off her older sister Venus in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, in the Wimbledon finals. Please note: The women play the best of three sets, not the best of five sets as do the men.

I see in the British MailOnline a headline: Wimbledon under fire  over female prize money. The story quotes Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry Secretary, as saying it was “simply wrong” that the winner of the men’s singles should walk off with £525,000, while the women’s champion collected only £486,000. As the father of two daughters, I couldn’t agree more!

Daughter Suzanne, the older of the two and a tennis aficionado, has railed about this difference in rules for a long time. If the women are to be paid equally, they should  play the same number of sets — three out of five!

Running is my sport, in which women do the same 26.2 miles in a marathon as the men.. Women were first officially invited to The Boston Marathon in 1972. And please note: The Boston Athletic Association’s top prize money is the same: $150,000 each for the top man and top woman. Why the big difference in prize money vs. tennis? For one thing, running lacks the glamor of tennis. This year’s Boston winners were Lelisa Desisa (the man) and Caroline Rotich. I confess I have never heard of either.


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