Early in the development of American's interest in athletics there has been a conditioning of the mind toward promoting and rewarding male athletes, while ignoring and undercutting female athletes. There is substantial evidence of the existence of monetary and promotional time given to male athletes and very little support given to their female counterparts. The gender pay gap in professional sports is a culmination of gender discrimination within the entire sports realm. It appears to start at the high school level, continue on into the collegiate sector, and is finally magnified in the professional arena. In high school, male sport's programs are given preference to game and practice times, locations, as well as promotions. In college, male athletic programs are advertised and highlighted as being the premier events to go to. This is also seen in college bookstores with the dominating male event merchandise for sale. In the professional arena, the astronomical value of male athletes' salaries, which go into the multi-millions, makes the gender pay gap glaring. These discrepancies between men and women at each level of sport are in part caused by the underlying informal systems or societal norms and values currently present and encouraged in American culture and communities. These informal systems are often countered by formal systems, such as Title IX. Change cannot truly take place until the two systems are aligned. Thankfully, society today seems to be headed in a more equitable direction; therefore, promoting hope and promise for a more equal future between male and female athletes and their programs.
- The Gender Pay Gap Magnified in Professional Sports