The NRL announced the salary cap for both the men’s and women’s competition today with both competitions seeing an increase from their 2022 figures, however one former player has branded the difference in cap total a “joke”.
The men’s and women’s game received parity at the recent World Cup with both tournaments running at the same time and afforded equal opportunities to both genders, as well as the wheelchair tournament, however the difference in salary cap for the upcoming NRL and NRLW season has sparked debate.
It was reported earlier that the men’s competition, the NRL, would receive a 25% increase on their 2022 cap total taking the figure for teams to spend on wages to $12.1 million.
In contrast the women’s competition, the NRLW, saw a 153% increase however that only took the figure to $884,000, just 8% of the men’s total.
This has sparked controvery and debate between fans down under as some claim it’s warranted whilst others argue it highlights the inequality between men and women.
One of those who has thrown criticism at the NRL is journalist Katie Brown who represented South Sydney Rabbitohs on two occasions in the 2020 NRLW season and she’s taken aim at those in charge of making that decision.
Brown tweeted: “Lol ‘record breaking’ deals for the NRL ($12.1 million) and NRLW ($884,000). You’re giving a whole women’s playing group ONE man’s salary. What a joke.”
— Katie Brown 🤸🏼♀️ (@katiebrownaus) December 23, 2022
Brown’s reaction sparked debate with some agreeing that the disparity in finances was laughable but many fell down on the other side of the argument and provided responses as to why that was the case.
As is the case with social media the well-reasoned responses got lost in a flurry of rage and insults, as is far too often the case with female pundits in traditionally male-dominate sports, however one response broke down the the figures and reasoned it as “a great deal”.
That is 8% of the mens salary cap.
I bet that the NRLW does not bring in 8% in revenue.
NRLW 152% rise in salary
NRL 25% rise in salary.
884k cap is very comparable to the AFL and the Cricket.
Stop complaining, you guys got a great deal.
— RichitiGrub (@WSWanderingEels) December 23, 2022
Of course the debate around the gender pay gap will also rage on whilst it still exists but for now the NRLW has to be seen as in a brilliant place with teams being added to the competition and a new salary cap figure that massively eclipses that of the previous season.
Another reasoned response argued: “It’s all about revenue and you would know that. The men’s revenue supports that amount. The women have a very good product which will only get better over time. Small steps.”