The United States Women’s Soccer National Team is used to all the publicity now after the incredible seasons they’ve had over the past few years. In 2015, they led our country to the title World Champions after their win over Japan.
The members of this team could be considered heroes to young girls; they hold themselves to a different level of integrity. Growing up, we are taught at a young age that men are more athletic and are stronger, but these women are proving that stereotype wrong. They are fighting for the future of this sport and showing young girls that women just as strong as men are.
The unequal treatment of women is sports doesn’t just stop with soccer. In any sport across the board, you can see how differently women are treated through rules, regulations and pay. We live in a society where the stereotypes are starting to change and women on this team are helping the fight for that. The fight they are starting will be carried on for years to come and soon we will see the positive outcome these women will bring to the sports community.
These women are some of the most elite athletes that take residence in our country, yet they do not seem to be compensated for that. Our president even refers to them as “badasses” and has said that playing like a girl is no longer an insult. Girl power is at an all-time high in our day and age and these girls are a killer example of what girl power should look like.
There are five players of our national team that have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stating that the U.S. Soccer Federation is subjecting them to pay wage discrimination. The women who are behind this are Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn. These are just a handful of players that are a part of this team and they are taking a stand against this gender discrimination.
Here are some hard facts that just show the differences in women’s soccer to men’s:
- The Women’s team won the World Cup in 2015. They were awarded $2 million dollars for this.
- When Germany’s men’s team won the world cup in 2014, they were awarded $35 million dollars. The U.S. men’s team was given $9 million for getting knocked out in Round 16.
- For each woman who makes it to the world cup, they will receive $30,000 dollars, whereas the men will be handed $68,750 each.
- There are no bonuses involved for the women’s team for qualifying for the World Cup. Alternatively, the men’s team gets $2.5 million just for qualifying.
- The Women have a base salary of $72,000 dollars but the men will get their salary plus a generous $5,000 for showing up to small friendlies and other tournaments.
- The women can get up to $1,500 for playing in friendlies and other events but receive nothing if they they lose, while the men will get that $5,000 mentioned above regardless of the outcome.
- Television revenue compensation for the women’s team is relatively low compared to the men’s. Commercial costs have an almost $200,000 difference when in reality more people watch the women’s games.
Here’s some math to end with: if the women’s team wins all 20 games they will receive $99,000 dollars. If the men’s team wins all their games, they will be rewarded $263,320 in total. To top it off, if the men loose all 20 games they will still make $100,000. That’s a pretty significant difference in compensation.
These are hard facts; anyone can go look these up by typing just a few keywords into Google. These women are being wrongfully underappreciated. Knowing that even if the men lose every single game in a season they will still be making more than the women who won every game during their season is disgusting.
As a girl who grew up playing soccer and admiring people like Mia Hamm, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, I know how hard these girls work to get to where they are. Watching these women boycott games because of bad field conditions and now talking about boycotting the Olympics is showing the world the dedication they have. The world needs to watch out for this team because they are lighting a fire for women all over the world to take a stand. I am thankful to see that these five women have stepped out of the darkness to show the world how gender inequality is still a huge issue to this day.