This past weekend, Serena Williams took home an amazing win in Wimbledon. To get there, she defeated Maria Sharpova in the semi-finals, one of Williams’ fiercest rivals. This marks Sharapova’s 17th consecutive defeat to Serena.
While the two are competitors on the court, many are also comparing their finances. According to Forbes, when it comes to highest paid athletes, Sharapova is ranked higher than Williams, pulling in $24 million. Williams made $22 million in 2014, with a majority of her income being prize money. So, how is it that the most recognized tennis player makes less than a 17 time loser? The answer is endorsements. Majority of Sharapova’s income is endorsement money.
Brands seem to find Sharapova more marketable. It is no secret that that commercialized media has leaned towards thin, white women with blonde hair to advertise their products. Being a winner, simply isn’t good enough. Now, if Williams was a man, probably a quarterback of a SuperBowl team she would not have to fight for endorsement deals, there would be an abundance. Since she is a woman, her image has been criticized, often for being too muscular. This scrutiny has possibly held her back from earning those deserved endorsements and making more money.
To make it worse, there’s that pesky wage gap is in full effect. It is no secret, women make 78 cents to every man’s dollar. When it comes to African-American women, they make even less with 64 cents. So, if Serena Williams, possibly one of the greatest athletes of our time, can’t beat the wage gap, is there any hope?