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Football, tennis and boxing are top sports where Brits believe gap is justified

  • Two thirds of men (68%) think sports gender pay gap is justified
  • One in three women (36%) believe men deserve more pay
  • Two in five Brits (40%) believe the gap is due to difference in quality and skill of athletes

As many as half of Brits (50%) in the UK believe that it is acceptable for male and female sports stars to be paid differing amounts in the same sporting discipline.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, twice as many more men (65%) than women (36%) believe the pay gap is justified depending on the sport. A further 7% of women said there was no question about it – men should always be paid more regardless of the sport – doubling to 14% for men.

When asked why it is justifiable for men and women to be paid unequal amounts within sports, the most common reason among almost half of respondents (47%) was that certain sports differ in performance requirements between genders – for example, in tennis. This was also the most cited reason from women with two-fifths (43%) believing men deserve more cash as they play more sets over a longer period of time.

The survey, commissioned by online casino PlayOJO, which is challenging the UK online casino market by being fair and transparent, also found that over half of all respondents (51%) identified football as the most acceptable sport to have a gender pay gap, despite the men’s and women’s game being identical when it comes to length of play. Nearly two-thirds of men (62%) agreed football was the most acceptable sport to have a pay gap.

However, as many as two in five (40%) respondents believe the gender pay gap is down to a disparity in the skill and quality of athletes. Predictably, almost half of men (47%) think this warrants a pay gap, compared to less than a third of women (29%) who also recognise this as a justifiable reason.

In addition, the findings revealed a third (37%) of participants agree there is a difference in the level of spectator entertainment between genders, meaning they prefer to watch men’s sport. A further 35% of the UK public believe the pay gap is down to more TV rights for male dominated sport and higher attendance in male sporting events that leaves women earning less.

A spokesman for PlayOJO said:

“We are challenging the UK online casino industry by being honest and transparent and we are interested in raising awareness of unfairness in other aspects of British society such as gender pay in sport.

“Whilst the sporting industry addresses unequal pay between men and women, it is clear from our findings that public opinion is split on the issue of the sporting gender pay gap, which makes for lively debate until we reach a fair conclusion.”

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