After $40,000 Payout, World Indoor Champion Josh Kerr Voices Concerns Over Lack Of Prize Money In Athletics

Can World Athletics step up, or will athletes begin to explore new avenues?

Last Updated:

Josh Kerr, the newly crowned world indoor champion in the 3,000m event, is not just celebrating his recent victory; he’s also raising his voice against the prevailing disparity in prize money within the world of track and field

Kerr’s triumph at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow earned him $40,000, a figure he finds startlingly low compared to the rewards reaped by athletes in other sports of similar caliber.

After $40,000 Payout, World Indoor Champion Josh Kerr Voices Concerns Over Lack Of Prize Money In Athletics 1
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

In his candid critique, Kerr emphasized the need for substantial financial investment in track and field, citing the $40,000 prize for a world championship title as inadequate compared to other elite sports. 

His discontent reflects a broader sentiment among athletes grappling with financial strains despite their remarkable feats on the track.

Beyond voicing his concerns, Kerr lent his support to Michael Johnson’s recent ambitions to establish a new athletics league, slated for launch in 2025

Johnson’s proposed league promises a revolutionary fan-friendly format, offering athletes lucrative opportunities and an alternative pathway to showcase their talents. 

After $40,000 Payout, World Indoor Champion Josh Kerr Voices Concerns Over Lack Of Prize Money In Athletics 2
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

The new league comes after years of discussion among a number of elite athletes, beyond just Kerr, about changing to address the systemic challenges plaguing track and field.

Moreover, Kerr urged World Athletics to take proactive measures to bolster prize money across its events, emphasizing the pivotal role of financial incentives in attracting top-tier athletes to events. 

He stressed the importance of incentivizing head-to-head matchups (think Kerr vs. Ingebrigsten) which elevate the sport’s excitement and enhance its commercial appeal.

After $40,000 Payout, World Indoor Champion Josh Kerr Voices Concerns Over Lack Of Prize Money In Athletics 3
Photo Credit: Eric van Leeuwen

The conversation extended to potential investments from external entities, such as the Saudi Public Investment Fund, raising intriguing possibilities for the sport’s financial landscape. 

Kerr and others have acknowledged the delicate balance between securing financial backing and upholding the integrity of athletic competition, underscoring the need to explore new avenues for sustainable growth.

Kerr’s advocacy for equitable compensation resonates with the broader discourse within the track and field community, where many athletes grapple with the financial realities of pursuing their passion. 

After $40,000 Payout, World Indoor Champion Josh Kerr Voices Concerns Over Lack Of Prize Money In Athletics 4
Photo credit: Filip Bossuyt

Despite the allure of athletic glory, many elite runners face precarious financial situations, including the lack of a minimum or living wage, highlighting the pressing need for comprehensive reforms.

As Kerr continues, alongside his peers, to advocate for fair compensation and sporting innovation, his efforts signal a transformative shift in the financial landscape of track and field. 

With vocal athletes like Kerr leading the charge for change and an innovative athlete-centered track league in the works, the sport stands poised to embark on a journey toward greater equity, sustainability, and financial security for all involved.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.