Here’s How Many Women Made Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes In 2017

David Hookstead | Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Not a single woman made Forbes 100 highest paid athletes for 2017.

I had actually only seen the top 10 when the list was initially released:

  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Lionel Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Conor McGregor
  • Neymar
  • LeBron James
  • Roger Federer
  • Steph Curry
  • Matt Ryan
  • Matthew Stafford

Obviously, lots of very recognizable names on that list. Then, this morning, I saw that ABC pointed out the list was absent of women. (SLIDESHOW: These Nearly Naked Women Love Baseball)

I can’t wait for people to start losing their minds over this as the ABC tweet draws more and more attention. Allow me to put an end to this debate before it even gets off the ground. This list would have had a woman on it almost certainly if Serena Williams hadn’t been pregnant. That’s the truth of the matter. The odds are overwhelming that she would have made this list if she hadn’t been having a child.

So, we now know why the main woman you’d expect to be on the list wasn’t there. The second point, and this is the important one, is that women aren’t paid as much in sports because they don’t generate the same revenue. For example, the cheapest ticket to game five of the Stanley Cup final tonight is selling for more than $2,300. How much were tickets for the NWHL games? A solid $20. How the hell are female athletes expected to be paid large amounts of money when tickets to their games sell for the same price as a large pizza with the delivery fee included. It’s simple economics.

Thousands of people will take to the streets tonight in Washington D.C. to watch the Caps play the Vegas Golden Knights in Sin City. That’s right. Thousands of people will stand on the streets to watch a game taking place in a different city. The WNBA can’t get people to show up to their actual games, and I’m pretty sure nobody has ever taken to the streets with thousands of people to watch their games. I’m not bashing the WNBA. I respect their players a lot. Life can’t be easy when some players in the WNBA are making around $50,000.

However, these facts won’t matter to those just looking to kick up a storm. They’ll pretend that female athletes should be paid the same. To be clear, women who generate the same revenue as male athletes should be paid the same. Ronda Rousey is a great example of a female athlete that made a bank vault in her career because she was way more popular than a lot of her male counterparts.

However, she’s the exception. She’s not the norm. Most people don’t care about the WNBA or any other women’s sports leagues. Disagree all you want, but it’s 100 percent true.

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David Hookstead

Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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