Martina 'Angry' BBC Pays Her 10 Times Less Than McEnroe

'It's still the good old boys' network,' tennis star says of Wimbledon pay disparity
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2018 7:44 AM CDT
Former tennis player Martina Navratilova watches batting practice before the start of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals on June 19, 2017, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(Newser) – The BBC has exposed a gender pay gap taking place within … itself. And among the women getting the short end of the stick is tennis great Martina Navratilova, who said she was thrown to find out she was getting paid 10 times less than John McEnroe by the broadcaster for her commentary during Wimbledon, per the London Times. The 61-year-old Navratilova told the BBC's Panorama program that while she gets paid about $21,000 annually, the 59-year-old McEnroe pulls in $210,000 or so—a fact revealed in a BBC top-earners salary list published last summer. "It's still the good old boys' network," Navratilova told the program. "Male voices are valued more than women's voices." Panorama estimates Navratilova made 10 appearances during 2017's Wimbledon event, while McEnroe made around 30 or so, though that still was "not enough to justify his substantially higher salary," per the Times.

Navratilova said the BBC has been less than forthcoming to her about the pay discrepancy, assuring her she was receiving comparable wages to male colleagues. The nine-time Wimbledon winner says her agent is going to push for more money from now on, per the Telegraph. She adds she's not just concerned for her own part-time gig, but also for women who get a full-time BBC paycheck. "It adds up to an amazing amount of money [over a lifetime]," she says, per SI.com. "It's extremely unfair and … makes me angry." In a statement, the BBC says the "scale, scope, and time commitment" of Navratilova's work was "simply not comparable" to McEnroe's. "John is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage," the statement notes. "He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport. … His pay reflects all of this; gender isn't a factor."

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