American business magazine Forbes released its annual report of the highest paid athletes in sport and not a single woman made the list, a first since 2010.
Recently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather claimed the top spot by a huge margin, raking in $285 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. This was due mainly to his cross-combat superfight against mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in August 2017. McGregor, who lost the fight, figured fourth on the list.
As The Field had noted last year, there is a huge financial disparity between male and female athletes. In 2017, only Serena Williams had made the same Forbes list. But owing to a pregnancy and some time off tennis last year, she’s been fairly inactive until her return at the French Open this year.
Basketball players dominate the list (40%) followed by American football and football (soccer) players who make up nearly 30% of the top earners.
All of the above have extensive sports and brand contracts. Basketball players in particular make money from both sports and the products they endorse. In most of the other sports like tennis, golf and cricket, earnings are almost exclusively driven by sponsors.
Roger Federer is the top earner by endorsements with $65 million, followed by LeBron James who makes around $52 million.
Virat Kohli is yet again the sole cricketer on the list taking in $24 million largely due to his lucrative endorsement deals. In terms of endorsements alone, the Indian captain is the 15th highest-paid athlete, but receives a relatively paltry sum for his cricketing exploits.