Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the seventeenth time in the semi-finals at Wimbledon on Thursday, yet she still makes less money. While Williams has made $11 million in prize money to Sharapova’s $2.4 million, the difference is in endorsements. Sharapova has made $22 million to Willams’s $11 million. While some marketing experts feel that there is still a double standard for male versus female athletes, racism may play a role as well:
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a popular male athlete who doesn’t also have physicality and sex appeal. But that comes second to winning for guys, whereas for female athletes, looks come first,” [Kevin] Adler told Women’s Wear Daily in 2013. This isn’t to suggest that Serena Williams is not attractive. But perceptions of her body are frequently overlaid with racist stereotypes. Sharapova, by contrast, is blond, thin, leggy and has worked as a model. In the eyes of corporate marketers, that is apparently valued more than on-court performance.
Maybe Serena needs to flex a little of Rihanna’s BBHMM business plan.
Team Blackness also discussed federal benefits now available to same-sex couples nationwide and a judge that ordered kids held in a juvenile center after refusing to see their dad.