NEW YORK (CNN) – For the first time in eight years, no women are featured on the Forbes list of the world’s 100 highest-earning sports stars — a list topped by retired boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Since the magazine expanded its list in 2010, at least one female star has always made the cut. Tennis player Serena Williams was the sole female representative last year, coming in at No. 51.
Though a number of sports tournaments now pay men and women equal prize money — in 1973, not one sport rewarded both genders equally — this year’s list starkly highlights that the pace of change is slow, and a huge disparity still remains.
Having not played much in the last 12 months due to pregnancy and maternity leave, Williams’ off-court earnings of $18 million was not enough to make 2018’s top 100. Charlotte Hornets’ Nicholas Batum was ranked No. 100 with $22.9 million.
The figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.
Tennis players Maria Sharapova and Li Na have been named on the list in recent years, but Sharapova’s absence from the sport because of a drug ban and Li’s retirement in 2014 means they no longer feature.
Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes’ senior editor, told CNN Sport that on endorsements alone Williams would be ranked in the top 10. He said, “Serena is still killing it off the court. She’s more popular than ever with corporate sponsors. By our count she banked $18 million with those partners who she still continues to be engaged with, whether it’s IBM, Nike, Wilson, so she does a lot off the court.”
“Her endorsement earnings would put her up in the top 10 in the world. She just hasn’t any prize money to go with that,” Badenhausen said. “I expect, once Serena is back on the court and raking up those millions in prize money, we’ll see her back on the list next year.”
- Floyd Mayweather, $285 million
- Lionel Messi, $111 million
- Cristiano Ronaldo, $108 million
- Conor McGregor, $99 million
- Neymar, $90 million
- LeBron James, $85.5 million
- Roger Federer, $77.2 million
- Stephen Curry, $76.9 million
- Matt Ryan, $67.3 million
- Matthew Stafford, $59.5 million
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