The record-breaking U.S. women’s soccer team should not still be fighting for equal pay to the men’s team
In case you’ve somehow missed this fact, the U.S. women’s soccer national team is really good. I mean, really, really good. They’re the defending champions at this year’s Women’s World Cup, and, in fact, they’ve won three of the seven total Women’s World Cup tournaments that have been held since the event was started in 1991. Yesterday, in the World Cup opener against Thailand, they broke every record in existence by winning 13-0. And then there are the four gold medals they won when women’s soccer was added as an Olympic sport in 2016. Oh, and they’re still fighting for equal pay.
Yep, the women’s team, which is incredibly successful and profitable for U.S. soccer, is paid a fraction of what the men’s team earns.
For comparison, the 13 goals the women’s team scored in yesterday’s game alone is more than the men’s team has scored in the last three World Cup tournaments combined. Total. There is absolutely no question here about which team is better. And yet, the men earn way more money. In what universe is this even remotely OK?
After the women’s team stunned the world with that record-breaking victory (it was the highest margin of victory ever recorded at a World Cup game, as well as the most goals ever scored in a single World Cup match), the internet caught wind of their battle against pay disparity, and took to social media to rightfully shame U.S. Soccer.
The @USWNT just scored more goals in ONE GAME (13) than the men's team did in their last three World Cups COMBINED.
— National Women's Law Center (@nwlc) June 11, 2019
US women’s national soccer team: 3 world cups, 2 Olympic gold medals, play almost 50% more games and win 2x as many compared to the men, and last year brought in more revenue than the men’s team. But still get paid 1/4 of what men make. #WomensWorldCup2019 #equalpay pic.twitter.com/WKXujBz6Fw
— Laurel Morales (@laurelgwyn) June 7, 2019
The @USWNT is #1 in the world & contributes higher revenues for @USSoccer than the men’s team, but they’re still paid a fraction of what the men earn. Women deserve equal pay for equal (or better!) work in offices, factories, AND on the soccer field. https://t.co/ftOSrjRyOE
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 11, 2019
F**k equal pay…..
Pay the #USWNT MORE MONEY than the men.
— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) June 11, 2019
As the U.S. Women’s National Team takes the field against Thailand today, the players are also fighting to be paid equally. Let’s not forget the fight off the field. It’s time we pay our USWNT equally. https://t.co/KHqBcFB9RW
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 11, 2019
I’m no mathematician but-
FIFA distributes $400 million among teams in the men’s World Cup.
— Chrissie Y. (@c_yeghs) June 8, 2019
To be clear, we’re not saying the women’s team deserves equal pay because it’s objectively better than the men’s team. Women deserve equal pay to men in all cases, always. If they do the same job and have similar requirements and experience, they should earn the same amount of money. Full stop.
And in addition to having to fight for equal pay, the women’s team is being criticized after their win, with some people saying they shouldn’t have scored so many goals because they were showing off or something?
Twitter on women athletes:
"They're not good enough."
"They're TOO good and should stop showing off."
"They're not entertaining."
"They did TOO MANY fun celebrations."
"I like men's sports because they're more aggressive."
"These women are TOO aggressive and should ease up."
— Shauntel Lowe (@shauntellowe) June 11, 2019
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) June 11, 2019
I’m sorry, but would the men’s team be told to stop scoring so much if they pushed to break some records? Good lord.
In March, 28 members of the women’s soccer national team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, saying the organization gives them “only lip service to gender equality.” The lawsuit accuses U.S. Soccer of gender discrimination, and it’s pretty clear that that’s the case. After the lawsuit was filed, the men’s team even released a statement saying they were totally on board with giving the women’s team equal pay.
“The United States National Soccer Team Players Association fully supports the efforts of the US Women’s National Team Players to achieve equal pay,” the statement read. “We wait on US Soccer to respond to both players associations with a way to move forward with fair and equal compensation for all US soccer players.”
So, um, everyone is on board with this except U.S. Soccer, the organization that signs the paychecks. As the women’s team continues to dominate this World Cup — because they will continue to dominate — here’s hoping the pressure mounts for U.S. Soccer, and fans don’t let up on their demands that these amazing athletes get paid what they deserve.