maria sharapova

Serena Williams Is Officially the World’s Highest Paid Female Athlete

Black excellence! One of the greatest athletes of our time, Serena Williams, has surpassed Maria Sharapova and is now the highest paid female athlete in the world after earning a cool $28.9 million this past year.

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In light of their clash at Wimbledon I’ve seen a lot posts on my dash of Serena Williams/Maria Sharapova in which Serena is being hailed as the queen of tennis (and rightly so) but one thing I haven’t seen talked about so much is the discrepancy in earnings between the two.

Despite the fact that Serena now has 21 grand slam singles titles to Sharapova’s 5, Maria continues to earn more money than Serena, and has done so every year for the past 11 years, ever since she won Wimbledon in 2004.

In the past 12 months alone Serena has earned $24.6 million (not including prize money for today’s Wimbledon victory) whilst Sharapova has earned $29.5 million. The reason for the difference becomes clear when you break it down. If you focus on just prize money Serena beats Sharapova easily with $11.6 million vs. $6.7 million in the past 12 months. However,the remainder comes from endorsements where Sharapova outstrips Williams by $22.8 million to $12 million.

Apparently, despite having 4 times as many grand slam singles titles and being arguably the most dominant athlete on earth right now, Williams still isn’t as marketable as a conventionally attractive white woman.

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Serena Williams Tops Sharapova As The World's Highest-Paid Female Athlete
A historic 2015 season and a shocking announcement helped Serena Williams end Maria Sharapova's run as the world's top-earning female athletes after 11 straight years.
By Kurt Badenhausen

“She earned $28.9 million over the past 12 months. That makes her the world’s highest-paid female athlete over that span, unseating Maria Sharapova, who had held the title the past 11 years.”

“Sharapova’s off-court income is down only $3 million by our count over the last 12 months to $20 million since Sharapova receives much of her comp at the end of the year from sponsors. But her income will plummet over the next 12 months as brands like Nike and Head will get big reductions on their endorsement commitments because Sharapova will not play the minimum number of events in 2016 required under the contracts. Her penalty for the failed drug test is likely to determined this month and a suspension through at least the end of the year is likely. The biggest hit to Sharapova’s earnings for the past 12 months came on the court. Her prize money dipped nearly $5 million to $1.9 million. Her total earnings of $21.9 million rank second overall.”

Here are the cards on the table. Sharapova was caught for having drugs in her system and she receives sympathy and taps on the back for bravery. Williams is found guilty of having melanin in her system and she is continuously ridiculed, harassed with racially charged language and forced to endure comments regarding her femininity and gender identity, with her physical appearance and scale of beauty used as a dartboard for the insipid minds of the racist trolls who are so threatened by her blackness.
Williams has established herself as arguably the most dominant player in the history of women’s tennis during her two-decade career. But for all of her brilliance, she has looked up to Sharapova when it comes to endorsement earnings since Sharapova was dubbed the “It” girl after her 2004 Wimbledon victory. Much has been made of the disparity, and Sharapova’s 10-year run atop the world’s highest-paid female athletes. Race, corporate bias, likability and beauty are all part of the discussion in why Sharapova earns almost twice as much as Serena from endorsements and appearances, despite only one-quarter the singles Grand Slam wins.

Serena Williams Vs. Maria Sharapova: By The Numbers

racism … that’s what everything he listed as a cause is… racism. 

  • race - obvious. 
  • corporate bias - for whites (that’s racism).
  • likability - there’s no reason not to like her. she’s pleasant in interviews, but not a pushover. she wins. she’s passionate. she’s animated. she’s confident. she’s well-rounded. the issue is that those characteristics are only considered likeable if you aren’t Black or if you’re Black and not considered real competition. you must be entertaining, but not an actual competitive threat. (racism AND sexism tbh) 
  • beauty - based on eurocentric norms (racism)

so, while he tried not to make it all about race, it’s definitely ALL tied to racism. 

sometimes being 4 times as good isn’t even good enough.