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SportSerena Williams is only woman on Forbes' 2019 list of highest-paid athletes

13:55  12 june  2019
13:55  12 june  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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She was also the only woman on the list in 2017. Download the NBC News app for breaking news. Topping Forbes ' list this year is Argentine soccer Williams did not land on last year's Forbes list of the highest - paid athletes after taking a yearlong break from competition after having a child with her

The 100 top-earning athletes hail from 22 countries and compete in 11 sports with Americans and basketball players the most prevalent. Over the last 12 months, they banked a cumulative .8 billion with 23% derived from endorsements and appearances.

Serena Williams is only woman on Forbes' 2019 list of highest-paid athletes© Clive Brunskill Serena Williams during the French Open in Paris on June 1, 2019.

After her absence last year, tennis star Serena Williams has reemerged on Forbes' annual ranking of the world's highest-paid athletes for 2019, bowing in at No. 63 out of 100.

But her return is noticeable for another reason: She's the only woman on the list.

The lack of another female athlete comes at a time when the issue of gender pay inequity in professional sports has gained attention and female players are willing to sue to put a spotlight on the disparity.

Williams, 37, reappeared on the list after Forbes calculated her pay at $29.2 million, as well as her winnings at $4.2 million and off-the-court endorsement deals at $25 million. Her sponsorships include Gatorade, Wilson Sporting Goods and JPMorgan Chase. She was also the only woman on the list in 2017.

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Serena Williams (No. 63) returned to the ranking, after no women appeared in 2018. Cost of admission to the 2019 list is the highest ever at The list of elite athletes consists of players from ten different sports. NBA stars lead with 35 basketball players among the top 100, down from 40 in 2018

Serena Williams is the top-earning female athlete this year at million, but she fell nearly million short of the History of Women on Forbes ' Highest - Paid Athletes List . Tennis has traditionally been the only path for women to make the Forbes earnings lists , but the bar to make the cut keeps

Topping Forbes' list this year is Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi, whose pay, winnings and endorsement earnings reached a total $254 million.

Four other tennis players made the list, including Switzerland's Roger Federer, who ranked at No. 5 and earned a total of $186.8 million.

In general, the top athletes represent major sports in the United States and internationally: soccer, football, basketball and baseball. Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder who earlier this year reportedly signed what appeared to be the largest contract in professional sports history worth $430 million, was No. 17 on this year's Forbes ranking.

Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at the San Francisco firm Baker Street, said because the viewership and ratings remain high in popular team sports dominated by male athletes, that's where the blockbuster deals and big money will continue to flow.

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(Reuters) - Serena Williams was the highest paid female athlete for a third consecutive year in 2018, according to an annual list published by Forbes on Tuesday that Serena Williams , who was the only woman on the list the previous year, dropped out of the chart while taking time off to have a baby.

Virat Kohli featured 100th in the Forbes Highest Paid Athletes standings with million to his name - million in salary/winnings and million in endorsements. Meanwhile tennis superstar Serena Williams was the only woman to make the list , coming in at 63rd with earnings of .2 million.

"It's what people are watching, it's what people want to see on TV and it's what the TV stations are willing to pay to get the rights to," Dorfman said. "And as long as there's more popularity, more appeal and more cache for the men's leagues, then that's how it's always going to be, regrettably."

Williams did not land on last year's Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes after taking a yearlong break from competition after having a child with her husband, internet entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Earlier this month, she ranked on another Forbes list — America's richest self-made women — becoming the first athlete on there.

"For tennis, it's all about endorsements and less about prize money," Dorfman said. "Serena is obviously a great businesswoman, and she's extremely marketable."

While a larger reckoning for how female athletes are paid remains elusive, experts say, there are efforts to bring the discrepancies to the forefront.

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Virat Kohli only Indian among top 100 in the 2019 list of highest - paid athletes . Virat Kohli's total Notably, it is the first time that footballers have clinched the top three spots since Forbes began Meanwhile, legendary women 's singles tennis player, Serena Williams is the only woman in the list

DURBAN - Serena Williams , a 23 time Grand Slam winner was featured on Forbes 2019 America's Self Made Women Net Worth list with a total net worth of 5 million (R3.366 billion). Williams is not only known for her skills on the court but her acumen as a businesswoman.

In March, more than two dozen members of the U.S. women's national soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The athletes say "institutionalized gender discrimination" exists in their pay, medical treatment, travel arrangements and overall workload.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, American female players were paid a combined $1.725 million in bonuses after winning the Women's World Cup in 2015. To compare, American men were given $5.375 million in bonuses for reaching the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has declined to comment on pending litigation.

Meanwhile, the American women are favored to again win the World Cup, which kicked off last week in France.

T. Bettina Cornwell, the head of the marketing department at the University of Oregon's business school, said that while the audiences for men's sports have been larger historically and command more from sponsors, fans have some power to help change how much athletes are worth.

"From a societal perspective, if you want to address disparities, then watch women's sport. A great starting place right now would be the Women’s World Cup soccer," Cornwell said. "Any discussion of this not being an exciting sport to watch is simply rubbish. Be the audience they need and deserve."

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