Written by Zoe Allen
Someone please tell me how it is 2016 and women are still getting paid less than men for doing more than men.
For playing a required twenty friendly games a year, the United States women’s national soccer team can earn a minimum of $72,000 dollars a year, and, due to bonuses, could potentially earn around 100,000 dollars. Men, for partaking in the exact same procedures, can earn up to 260,000 dollars. If the men lose every single game, they still would receive a guaranteed 5,000 for every game. The women? They would receive nothing. Does this sound fair to any of you? Of course not. Because of this blatant inequality, last week, five of the biggest names in United States soccer, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn filed a wage-discrimination action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
I have seen so many factual inaccuracies trying to provide alibis for why the women are not receiving the same salary as their male counterparts. Of course the men’s FIFA World Cup brings in more revenue than the women’s, given that men’s soccer is the most popular sport around the globe. But, ignorant freshman at my school who tweets inaccuracies and then deletes them after realizing your stupidity, this is a domestic issue, not a global issue.
Americans like to see people win. That has been a common theme throughout time. The women’s national team are currently the most dominant team playing on American soil, and some can argue that they are the most dominant American team EVER. To win the World Cup, they beat Japan by a hefty five goal margin. They are practically indestructible. Their home winning streak is record breaking and their crowd attendance is overwhelming. The women are dominant.
The men, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Countries like Argentina, Germany, Spain, and Brazil, have hoards of soccer fans to support their dedicated (and winning!) soccer teams. The US men are difficult to truly root for because they are not good enough. Americans love winners.
Not only are the women more popular and successful, they are underpaid for their success. The women received a total of two million for WINNING the FIFA World Cup. The men received a total of nine million for LOSING in the Round of Sixteen.
You can make the argument that offering the men more money is necessary because their club salary is comparatively very high. Tim Howard plays for Everton in the English Premier League, and in 2014 his salary was $2.6 million. Everyone loves to represent their country in the red, white and blue, but when you’re Tim Howard, you need incentives to travel for a completely meaningless friendly in Trinidad and Tobago.
The worst part of all of this is that the women agreed to the current deal. (Although their union is involved in a separate legal dispute over the status of that collectively bargained agreement: the Federation claims its contract player’s association runs until the end of the year while the union feels the agreement can be terminated at any time.)
All of these arguments are correct. But, above all, they are wrong. From an equality standpoint, mostly.
This double standard is ridiculous and unfair. Anyone who argues that it is not is not only blind, but they are refusing to accept the truth. Wage gap and gender discrimination is still real, y’all. Anyone who cannot see that is lying.
I wish all the luck in the world to the five badass soccer stars who are trying to change the world and make a difference for a new generation.