Friday, April 21, 2006

Fight Till I Die!

Billie Jean, 62 years, six Wimbledon singles championships and four U.S. Open titles winner is still continuing her fight against Wimbledon over equal prize money for both men and women. Wimbledon offers men more prize money. Wimbledon made 25 million pounds last year and the gap in prize money between the sexes was $450,000. Last year, women's winner Venus Williams earned about 30,000 pounds ($53,000) less than men's champion Roger Federer.

The whole story appears here. One can read more about Billie Jean here.

She argues why women and men should be paid equal even when women play best of 3 and men best of 5 as follows:

We have always been willing to do that," she said. "That is their decision not to let us play three out of five sets. And how about everybody playing two out of three? That would really be helpful. Entertainers don't get paid by the hour," she said. "They get paid, period. If Elton John does a concert, it could last one hour or fours hours, it's a done deal."

Also no one can argue that women's game draw less crowds and thus less money. Larry Scott, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, said, "The last time I checked, from the Round of 16, quarter-finals on, women's matches are sold out just as the men's matches are sold out."

But how long can she fight alone? Can't all the women tennis players unite and boycott Wimbledon and see how the officials handle the situation? If they still refuse to pay women the same prize money, then hell with Wimbledon. There are other as equally important Grand Slams all of which pay the same amount of prize money to women and men .

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