World Surf League to Offer Equal Pay to Men and Women from 2019

SwellBrains | | SurfSurf
surf, equal pay,
Credit: Yahoo News UK

The World Surf League (WSL) has announced it will offer equal prize money to both men and women from next year, making it the first US-based global sports league to apply pay parity.

The WSL said it was, “proud of its commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone”.

In a statement online, WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said it was “simply the right thing to do.”

“This is the latest in a series of actions the League has undertaken to showcase our female athletes, from competing on the same quality waves as the men to better locations, and increased investment and support,” she said. “We would like to thank the many advocates who have worked for decades to help advance women’s surfing. We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all walks of life, starting on the waves, and we feel very lucky to have women on our tour who are highly talented, iconic role models, and more than deserve this recognition as they stand alongside our extraordinary male athletes.”

surf, equal pay
Stephanie Gilmore. Credit: Getty Images

Earlier this year, the WSL faced criticism after it came out that the winner of a female junior event received exactly half the prize money won by the men’s winner. Three-time world champion Carissa Moore said she was shocked but added it is “huge for the sport of surfing and women in general.”

Men’s surfing’s 11-time world champion Kelly Slater told the WSL website:

“I’m so proud that surfing is choosing to lead sports inequality and fairness. The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same. Surfing has always been a pioneering sport, and this serves as an example of that.”

The WSL hopes eventually to implement equal prize money across all qualifying events, even those it does not have full control over.

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