Dylan Alcott Has Called Out The Disgusting Prize Money Gap For Disabled Players
"We get less than half what the first-round loser of the able-bodied gets at all slams."
Tennis champion and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott has called out the prize money disparity between able-bodied tennis players and players with disabilities.
Alcott spoke out about disparity in a press conference at the Australian Open last Thursday. When asked about who would be taking up his mantle now that he’s retiring from tennis, Alcott responded with several names, including his doubles partner Heath Davidson, but emphasised the need for better prize money.
“Up the prize money everywhere, because I won the lead-in tournament here and it was 1300 bucks. How much is a flight from Europe? Three-grand? And that’s not just in Australia, that’s all around the world,” said Alcott. “We don’t get three and a half million dollars for winning, we get less than half what the first-round loser of the able-bodied gets at all slams.”
— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) January 24, 2022
While Alcott did emphasise that current prize money for disabled tournaments is better than it once was, he believes there’s still work to be done.
“You used to get a firm handshake and a cold Powerade. So, it’s better, but we gotta keep building it so it gets better and better,” he said.
“People think we’re lucky to be here — get stuffed. We deserve to be here. We’re selling tickets, sponsors are making money, and people are loving it. So, start thinking like that and then it will all change. That’s what I was lucky enough to do.”
In the Australian Open, able-bodied players who are eliminated in the first round get $103,000. Meanwhile, the winner of the disabled grand slam can reportedly expect to win about $50,000. The winner of the Australian Open able-bodied singles campaign takes home around $2.8M.
Thanks to his talent and advocacy, Alcott’s influence on public perception of wheelchair tennis cannot be overstated. But it’s clear the sport has a long way to go in awarding equity to players with disabilities.