Social media is reacting to a photo of the winners of Billabong Junior Series in Ballito over the weekend. Boys champion Rio Waida and girls champ Zoë Steyn pose side by side with their ceremonial cheques and it’s all smiles…except that Steyn seems to have received exactly half the prize money of her male counterpart and Twitter is not happy about it.
Luke Hilakari posted the image, pointing out the huge difference on the cheques:
Plenty of Twitter users agree, calling out Billabong for such a big discrepancy:
SHAME ON YOU @billabong1973 Lift your game & equalise the Money ???? Bad Look really really BAD LOOK— Maggie Bird (@Magpie1954nBird) June 27, 2018
So @billabong1973 as a sponsor you're okay with a prize difference like this?— Paul Camillos (@ephemeralfilm) June 27, 2018
All you need to do to change it is say to the organisers balance out the prize money or we're outta here – unless you don't see a problem with it?#BillabongJNR #TheBallitoPro https://t.co/eabq4Qh6SV
@billabong1973 & @wsl values female athletes 50% less than male athletes. How can anyone look this girl in the eyes while presenting her with this prize? He gets $8000 she gets $4000 What an insult. #BillabongJNR #TheBallitoProhttps://t.co/zXGGqdzq7J pic.twitter.com/EGIStM3I0Q— Melinda (@MelLiszewski) June 27, 2018
What fresh #sexist #inequality bullshit is this, @TheBallitoPro?! You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves.#BillabongJNR #TheBallitoPro @billabong1973 @billabongwomens @BillabongSA @5FM @VonZipper https://t.co/rEOOgbFM19— Dr Claire Lee ????️???? (@Claire_Lee) June 26, 2018
It comes amidst a continued controversy across all sports, with female athletes calling for equal prize money. In the 2016 Drug Aware Pro, the men’s event winner took home $100,000, while the women’s event winner took home $60,000.
Speaking to Tracks earlier this year, surfer Mikaela Greene addressed the issue after she received $6,000 for winning the women’s event at the Las Americas Pro Tenerif, opposed to the $10,000 cheque of men’s winner Ruben Vittoria.
“It costs the same amount of money to travel here for the women’s and the men’s and it’s hard to fund. So I think it would be nice to be rewarded the same as the guys.“
Women’s World Surfing champ Stephanie Gilmore made a similar comment to the ABC’s 7.30, according to The Courier Mail.
“At the end of the day, we’re travelling to the same places, we’re putting in as much effort and passion and time, and we train as much and we kind of have to look at it as equals.“
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Billabong for comment.