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Equal prize money for men and women

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by William42, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. William42 Active Member

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    #1 Dec 21, 2012   
  2. aenema Member

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    Geeze, they can already cook and clean and make babies. Is all this push for equal pay really necessary?
    #2 Dec 21, 2012   
  3. SuspectDevice New Member

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    Yeah, bad call.
    God forbid we attempt to make the sport more appealing to 51% of the worlds population.
    #3 Dec 21, 2012   
  4. Lelandjt Active Member

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    Maybe make prize money equal for the top 3 but have a payout down to 10th place for men and only 5th for women. The number competing is vastly different.
    #4 Dec 21, 2012   
  5. Hacktastic Active Member

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    That sounds all fine and dandy. Except that there is still only 1 woman for every 100 men or so that would have any interest in DH regardless.

    It's a terrible call. The sport is already short on funding and still in developmental stages. By and far the majority of people who will ever be interested in the sport will be men. That's not just taking away from Johnny to please Joey, it's taking away from Johnny, Joey, John, Jon, Jeff, Jeffrey, Jason, Jayson, Jay, Juan, Jose, Jordan, Jake, Jupiter, Jiggy Jiggy, and J-bop to please Jenny. Sometimes. When she feels like showing up.

    I'm all for women in DH and there being appropriate prize money, but given the depth of the field and the constituents of the sport, that's a gross mis-allocation of funds.
    #5 Dec 21, 2012   
  6. jnooth Member

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    I think this is great and hopefully it pushes more women to race, but it is really frustrating at local and regional level races when for the pro men who train hard and fight week in and week out to get on the podium and the ladies class attracts 3 girls and everybody who enters gets to share the purse. If for some act of god I were ever at a race that had a larger Women's Pro class I would not even raise an eyebrow if their purse was bigger than the men.

    I know this is different at the world cup stage. I am not saying at all that its easy for the ladies at a world cup level to get onto the podium and at that level they deserve every bit as much as the men
    #6 Dec 21, 2012   
  7. Serial Midget Al Bundy

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    I think it's a good investment in the sports future, there's a lot of female talent we never see because the purses are too small to generate interest.
    #7 Dec 21, 2012   
  8. Huck Banzai Active Member

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    All other considerations aside -- 97 Men show up and entry fees support the prize/purse, and moreso - the races themselves; 3 women show up, they are NOT due 50% of the prize resources when they're 3% of the funding.

    Would men be willing to concede more to attract more women? That could be a good question; no one should be answering from a position of leadership.




    A
    #8 Dec 21, 2012   
  9. wood booger Member

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    The equal payout is not for every race, just for World Champs. Just one race a year ummkayyy! :thumb:

    And it applies to all UCI races, not just mtb DH. A step in the right direction I would think. Now they just have to fire the entire UCI governing body to get rid of the corrupt moron influence.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
    #9 Dec 21, 2012   
  10. Hacktastic Active Member

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    It's a precedent for other events too, no doubt.
    #10 Dec 21, 2012   
  11. Tomasis New Member

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    you know, we already give a lot money to women. it doesnt change a thing at all in equation.
    #11 Dec 21, 2012   
  12. Serial Midget Al Bundy

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    Is the debate about the sport or the money? If the idea is to keep it a men's sport and sometimes let women play then keep things the way they are. If the idea is to strengthen the sport through inclusion then the status quo will have to change. Men are usually the status quo and are less likely to give up something they feel entitled to.


    #12 Dec 21, 2012   
  13. William42 Active Member

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    I disagree with that argument as I don't feel it applies here for a variety of reasons. Being a proponent of equal pay for equal work is admirable and worthwhile. This is NOT equal work on a number of levels. The level of athletic competition - winning in a field of 180 pro riders vs winning a field of 30 women willing to ride, and 5-10 pro level women. However, thats not what gets to me. Rachel Atherton works her ass off, and I don't want to take anything away from her by suggesting she doesn't have to work as hard as Gee does. I'm pretty willing to bet she is driven as fyck and works hard as hell for her results despite a lower level of competition.

    What bothers me is that the primary thing pouring money into the sport (fans, riders, etc) are doing so because of the men. Lets not beat around the bush here: If you removed the mens field from the WC competition, how many people would show up to watch/spend money? Anybody? Friends and family? If you removed the womens, do you think anybody would not attend because of it? The mens field is what drives advertising dollars, its what drives fans to show up, and its what drives riders to buy bikes.

    Before you get up in arms, I'm not suggesting thats the optimal or best setup, but it is what it is. Rachel Atherton is not selling the latest GT fury. Gee and Marc Beaumont are. Likewise, people are not showing up to watch Rachel race, they're showing up to watch Gee and Beaumont race, and its icing on the cake that they get to watch Rachel killing it too.

    If there were 20k in prize winnings being distributed to the mens field and 5 to the womens, making a total of 25k total before, the implementation of this rule isn't going to see an additional 15k poured into prize purses to make things equal, its going to see the mens field making 12.5k instead of 20, and the womens making 12.5 too. People show up to watch Aaron Gwin race, and win. He should be rewarded more for that.

    Getting more women involved in the sport isn't a bad thing. But the UCI making the call that women should make as much as men isn't going to get more imo - the thing that drives women to ride isn't the UCI forcing race venues to offer up bigger womens prize purses. Its companies selling their bikes correctly and getting women involved in the sport, which frankly, most companies don't really do. Half-hearted sponsorship of a womens DH racer doesn't grow the sport, and its bike companies that need to get involved in the missing demographic, not the UCI. The UCI should just reflect the demographics that exist.
    #13 Dec 21, 2012   
  14. gemini2k Active Member

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    Let's call equal payout what it is, a joke. To equate Greg Minnar's achievement this past year to Morganne Chare's is insulting to Minnar and the rest of the men's field.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
    #14 Dec 21, 2012   
  15. wood booger Member

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    And I am sure Greg's salary vs Morganne's salary reflects this quite well. This is not eqaul pay, it is equal payout for one race!

    This will only bring more women into the sport, this is not bad. Is it still 1950 down there in SoCal?
    #15 Dec 21, 2012   
  16. Hacktastic Active Member

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    It might bring a few more women into the sport. At the expense of steering a bunch of the mens field away from the sport.

    The best way to bring more women into the sport is to develop the sport as a whole, not to take away incentive from the vast majority, who are the driving force behind it, just to subsidize a few simply for a "diversity requirement".


    If the UCI TRULY wanted to see more women in the sport, they would realize that it only takes 2 factors: cost, and ease of access. More lifts/more land for shuttling or riding in general, and cheaper bikes. Not much the UCI can do about the cheaper bikes, as that's market driven, but as a premier organization in the biking community, it would be prudent for them to either help preserve our existing access or help develop new access. Strategic moves like that are the ones that will help generate more income within the sport and attract new riders.
    #16 Dec 21, 2012   
  17. gemini2k Active Member

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    I'm always surprised that we don't see large industry players investing more in land access and bike parks and such. You'd think if they could get some sort of industry consortium together to collectively invest in improving access for bikes it would have a much better return on investment than some of their other activities. I could be way off though.
    #17 Dec 21, 2012   
  18. thom9719 New Member

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    You'd be surprised. In the Seattle area I know diamondback allocates a large chunk of money and energy towards trail building and the local advocacy groups. Transition and kona do a ton up here too. I'd be willing to bet that most of the companies have a very vested interest in trail maintenance and access. I've found it strange that they don't Market their support more.

    -KT
    #18 Dec 22, 2012   
  19. Tomasz New Member

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    Ridiculous.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    #19 Dec 22, 2012   
  20. aenema Member

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    So all kidding aside, the prize money accounts for how much of the salary of the riders who are actually fast enough to collect a portion of it. The guys getting a cut are pro's and have income far exceeding the prize money they get from the individual race. Would the top 10 guys who collect from endorsements, sponsorships, team salaries, etc care if they got 5 or 10 k less in a year from prize money? It would help to know what they bring in to answer for sure but I would guess that it is a drop in the bucket difference we are talking about here. Now the girls on the other hand aren't getting that extra income at the rate the guys are so the prize money difference might actually mean something. I am thinking this is maybe not as bad as those who think it is are making it out to be.

    I am speculating, sure, but I think I am not far off at most.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    #20 Dec 22, 2012   
  21. FarkinRyan New Member

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    Would you care if you got paid $5-10K less a year and that money went to subsidise the salaries of other employees who contributed less to the financial success of the business than you did?
    #21 Dec 22, 2012   
  22. OGRipper Active Member

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    I'm curious about the disparity and how much of a difference we're really talking about here. Who's got the numbers from last year for the different cycling disciplines, for men and women? And did they announce the new, equal prizes yet? Are the men's prizes going down from last year?
    #22 Dec 22, 2012   
  23. aenema Member

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    We have to know actual numbers to be able to ask this question but say I made 500,000k a year, the answer would be 'No', I wouldn't care. If I made 100k a year and the difference is 5k or 10k, I wouldn't care then either, especially if it was growing the sport. We are, of course, talking about the top riders who this actually applies to who are getting prize money from the races. People making 50k a year or less, these numbers would make a bigger difference being that they are a higher percentage of their annual income.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    #23 Dec 22, 2012   
  24. ianjenn Active Member

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    I would venture that there are just a small handful of male riders making over 150k a year from one sponsor. Female riders will be a fair bit under them. The prize purse amounts are stupid low either way.
    #24 Dec 22, 2012   
  25. Udi Active Member

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    Next thing we'll be letting them vote!
    #25 Dec 23, 2012   
  26. Hacktastic Active Member

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    As my girlfriend has so eloquently put it before, "You know where I don't get fall down on rocks and get hurt? In the kitchen!".
    #26 Dec 23, 2012   
  27. rosenamedpoop New Member

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    Guys, this thread is arguing a moot point. The prize money allocation is only changing for worlds.
    #27 Dec 23, 2012   
  28. downhill mike Active Member

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    And all Pro GRT races.
    #28 Dec 23, 2012   
  29. mattmatt86 Active Member

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    I'm getting my GF into DH tomorrow, she needs podiums asap. Got bills to pay!
    #29 Dec 23, 2012   
  30. dropmachine.com Active Member

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    Any woman racing and using the prize money as inspiration shouldn't be racing anyways. Shes clearly delusional, and misguided.

    The mens and womens prize money should NOT be even, for one simple reason. Please read the whole thing before raging against me too. :D

    Its the men that bring the crowds and sponsorship, so its the men that make more of the money.

    Seriously, name 5 of the womens riders that are actually FUN to watch, compared to the men. I bet you can't. I can get to about 3 or 4, then I just don't care anymore. I am not discounting the amount of effort that a womans puts out on the course, not at all. They race their hearts out, with full throttle and conviction. They are role models. They are to be admired. They're also nowhere near as fun to watch as the guys.

    Guys are stronger, faster, and have better control. Even a midpack local will race with style and balls, whipping jumps, going big, blasting sections nearly out of control, and are fun to watch. The ladies on the other hand, well I've rarely seen a girl attack a track and make it look fun. It looks like work. Rachael and AC are phenomenal riders, out of this world, and they are the only ones I can think of that I'd choose to watch. The rest...meh. Look at Sabrina. Shes INSANELY talented, an amazing rider. She could easily destroy most of the people on this board (and any other) and at any time show up to a bike park and own everybody on the hill. She hugely skilled, talented and could crush me like a bug, but not fun to watch. Its the same with most womens sports it seems. While the conviction, skill, ability and determination can match and occasionally outshine the men, the excitement, power, speed and style seem to lack. The steak is there, the sizzle is not.

    I can honestly believe 100% in my heart that no single guy on the planet ever picked up a bike after watching AC or Rachael shred a course. I am willing to bet more than just a few picked up the sport after watching Minnaar whip a jump in the middle of a race.

    So no, I don't believe the prize money should be the same. The men bring more to this particular side of the sport than the ladies do, and thats an inarguable fact. XC, now thats a whole different arguement. But for DH, sorry ladies, I just don't think equal prize money is deserved. :/


    Flame on. :D
    #30 Dec 23, 2012   
  31. Jm_ Active Member

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    Make the prizes diamonds, little miniature cupcakes, a spa coupon, $300 jeans, or flight to Hawaii.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #31 Dec 23, 2012   
  32. downhill mike Active Member

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    That could be 5 new kinds of companies for possible sponsorship. Excellent point!
    Actually, the prizes need to be cash but this sarcasm does make a valid point. Think about this and what Mickey (Suspect Device) said early on on this thread. Mickey pointed out that 51% of the population are female.
    We paid the women = pay for our 1st four 5K DH's at Whiteface and thought others may follow, they didn't. Now that the UCI and Pro GRT are doing it, I do think others will follow this time.
    Lastly, I hate doing the awards ceremony when I hand the guy that won $1,000.00 and the women that won $50.00.
    My 2 cents.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #32 Dec 23, 2012   
  33. russselll New Member

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    Equal payout is the right thing to do for any sport; women pay the same entry fee, race on the same course, train for the sport and travel to the race. I have learned a few things women in sports and also have had my a$$ handed to me by a female in sport, work and life as well. The more people in a sport with diversification in gender and race, the better the sport will become.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    #33 Dec 23, 2012   
  34. Hacktastic Active Member

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    But...don't face the same competition...

    If they really want EQUAL. Truly EQUAL, then let them race with the men, and double the purse for that class.

    Because what's being proposed isn't EQUAL. It's letting them compete like women, and be paid like men.

    While it does suck having to give someone 1/20th of the payout, it still sucks rewarding them the same as another class who faced WAY tougher competition, and more of it.
    #34 Dec 23, 2012   
  35. russselll New Member

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    I am sure that some of you little boys with your sexist tempers, that are “oh, so pro”, on here with the stupid uneducated responses, also have no respect to women on the course, as you yell at them at you buzz by, more and likely don't have respect for women in general too.
    Again, women and men train for the sport, travel for the sport, pay the same entry fee, and race the same course, with equal payment.
    #35 Dec 23, 2012   
  36. iRider Active Member

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    Following that logic, why not have the same payout in the lower classes too? Semi-Pro, Cat 1 guys put also a lot of work into their racing AND have a dayjob. Give them the same payment as the pros!
    #36 Dec 23, 2012   
  37. Hacktastic Active Member

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    Hah, please explain how it is sexist? I may be a raging dickhead in many different ways, but that's not one of them.

    I'm all for equality, as is most everyone here. You know, so long as it's actually equality, and not just opportunism cleverly disguised as equality. Very big difference.

    You do the same job, and overcome the same challenges, you get paid the same.
    #37 Dec 23, 2012   
  38. the law New Member

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    Not quite. If women actually contributed as much to the sport as men (in terms of entry fees, participants, sales, etc), then that would be valid. But, they do not.
    #38 Dec 23, 2012   
  39. the law New Member

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    We have all had our asses handed to us by a woman at one point or another. That is not the issue though. The issue is that the funds for mountain biking is limited and that, at least currently, woman do not contribute as much to the sport as men. Thus, it would be unfair to the men to have equal prize money.

    You keep mentioning that the entry fee for women is the same as for men, but there are less women than men participating. That means the level of competition is usually lower for women and it is easier (comapratively speaking), to podium as a woman.

    Having said that, I would have no problem awarding women prizes that are the same percentage of revenue from race entries as that awarded men. My guess it that would actually decrease the purse for womens -- and indirectly proves that women's purses are already subsidized.
    #39 Dec 23, 2012   
  40. the law New Member

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    That is actually quite an emotional and sexist statement. Time for self-reflection?
    #40 Dec 23, 2012   

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