Martina Navratilova says John McEnroe makes ‘at least 10 times’ more than she does for Wimbledon work on BBC
Martina Navratilova said she was angered to learn that John McEnroe was making “at least 10 times as much money” as she does for covering Wimbledon on the BBC.
A list of the BBC’s highest paid employees from last year revealed McEnroe made 150,000-199,000 pounds for his work at Wimbledon; Navratilova said she received 15,000 pounds for her contributions to the coverage of the same event.
In U.S. dollars, that translates to about $210,000-$280,000 for McEnroe and $21,000 for Navratilova.
“Unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon, he’s getting at least 10 times as much money than I am for very comparable work,” Navratilova said on the BBC show “Panorama: Britain’s Equal Pay Scandal,” which is scheduled to air Monday.
When her interviewer suggested that McEnroe might be on the air more than Navratilova during Wimbledon coverage, Navratilova responded, “Ten times as much? I don’t think so.”
“Panorama” states during the broadcast that it found McEnroe to have received three times as much air time as Navratilova during the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon in 2017.
In response to Navratilova’s comments, the BBC said in a statement that the nine-time Wimbledon champion is an “occasional contributor” who appears on fewer broadcasts with a fixed amount of work and no contractual commitment.
McEnroe, the BBC stated, is on call for the entire tournament and has a contract that prohibits him for working for another British broadcaster without the BBC’s permission.
“John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” the BBC said. “They are simply not comparable.”
Of the three-time Wimbledon champion, the BBC added: “He is a defining voice within the BBC’s coverage. He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences. His pay reflects all of this; gender isn’t a factor.”
But Navratilova clearly feels gender plays a role in the large difference between her and his paychecks. She said she had been told by the BBC that she “was getting a comparable amount” as men doing similar work. “So we were not told the truth, that’s for sure,” Navratilova said.
She added: “For me, it’s a part-time job, it’s two weeks of my life. But for the women who work there full-time, maybe the discrepancy’s not that large, but it adds up over a lifetime. It adds up to an amazing amount of money. So it’s extremely unfair and it makes me angry for the other women that go through this.”
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