Tiger Woods, as in 2013, conquered the top place as a highest earning athlete second year running. The golfer recovered well from “one of the biggest sporting scandals in history” and remained a healthy 78.1Million US Dollars in total earnings, with 13.1m in salary and winnings, and 65m via endorsements.
Tennis legend Roger Federer has never been involved in shady businesses, but instead made it to the list of “most popular athletes”. In May 2014 he also introduced his second(!) set of twins. Federer reached 71.5m in total earnings, 6.5m in salary and winnings, and 65m in endorsements.
The list is dominated by Baseball players who have 27 entries in total, 13 American football players, 5 golfers, 3 boxers, 7 racing drivers and obviously Valentino Rossi, who earned 22M dollars last year.
There were 21 basketball players, all highly ranked with Kobe Bryant leading the way with his 61.9M earnings, cutting in before LeBron James with 59.8M.
MS Dhoni, the Indian Cricket Captain, was the only Cricket Player making it to top 50 with his yearly collecting of 31.5M. The other player who made it, Sachin Tendulkar made 22M in total.
The 14 football players included the retired Manchester icon David Beckham with his 47.2m earnings, and the Golden Ball winner Christiano Ronaldo, 44M. He secured the title of the worlds best footballer for the second time this year leaving behind the three time Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi who earned 41.3M.
What makes the list entry most interesting, is the fact that tennis is represented by 6 players – 3 men and 3 women. Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Li Na, have all made it to the list representing the only women amongst the highest earning athletes in 2014.
Tennis has taken remarkable steps in tearing down the glass ceiling in sports, but so far, remains the only sport that has actually done so. In the list of 10 women’s highest earners, there are seven tennis players.
In tennis, women are cracking forward in skill as well as in earnest, which has made the sport more attractive to the viewers as well.
Back in 1970’s, the total earnings for women on offer were under 0.5M dollars a year available for all tournaments in general. Last September Serena Williams cashed a check for 2M dollars on her U.S Open win.
In 2007 Wimbledon joined U.S Open and Australian Open, by securing equal price money for the female winners of the tournament.
Despite tennis leading the way, there are still too many women trapped in semi-professional positions, especially in team sports which can hardly be called equal in pay or conditions for many years to come.
But there is no reason to despair just yet as delightful news came in from France last month when French second division football club Clermont Foot hired Portugal born Helena Costa as their manager. The appointment has been said to inspire and hopefully attract more similar opportunities for talented women in football and other sports.
Lets start this sporting year in the hopes that a few more women can climb the stairs and make it to the next years list as well. After giving birth to her first baby, Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill could be up for the job, as she certainly secured her place as a British sporting icon by claiming the Olympic gold medal in heptathlon.
The original data from Forbes.