Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wimbledon pay: Knuckle-dragging stupidity 

Over at Colossus of Rhodey, there's a post defending Wimbledon for paying the female champ less than the men's -- and calling the other three grand slams' equal pay scale "politically correct."

It's so off-base, I don't even know where to begin.

Women's tennis -- admittedly once a relatively unpopular sideshow -- is more popular than men's tennis. Sorry, buddy. That's a fact. The ratings are typically higher, particularly at Wimbledon. The storylines are better. The rivalries are more interesting. The personalities are sparkling. And, though the feminists may not like it, the players are sexy. The women bring the money, the celebrity, and the interest. In the post-McEnroe/Connors era, if it weren't for women's tennis, no one would give a flying fuck about the game at all. That's just the way it is.

This ain't a "gender" issue. If anyone argues that WNBA players or women's golfers should get anywhere close to what their male counterparts make, I'd torpedo them too! Their product isn't very popular.

But to make the argument that's made in the post above requires the exact opposite of so-called liberal "political correctness" -- a knee-jerk boorish attitude toward women and/or women's sports -- or else just a shocking inability to make a simple comparison between the relative popularities of very disparate sporting industries.

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