Women for the win

The United States Women National team battles for equal pay

Gracie Schweers, Social Media Editor

It’s every little soccer player’s dream to be a part of something bigger, whether that be on a college team, going pro, or representing their nation on a global stage. 

I remember watching that 2011 Women’s World Cup (WWC) championship and being heart-broken over the United States’ devastating loss to Japan. Little nine-year-old me became determined to be a part of that culture, so I worked harder to become better at the sport. 

I was 13 years old when the tournament came around again and was already playing select club soccer, working my way up to my dream. The excitement of a third international title turned into more girls trying out for teams and playing soccer that fall season. 

The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) won their second consecutive and fourth overall WWC win in France this past July. Despite their multiple world championships, these incredible women are treated unfairly by national and international organizations.

The women’s team has made up at least half-recently exceeding that 50%- of the overall revenue for the federation since 2016, so it’s only fair that these incredible women are paid the same as their male counterparts, if not more. In addition to higher revenue, their home jersey is the number one jersey, women’s or men’s, ever sold on Nike.com in one season, which increases the fanbase and value of the team, but apparently the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) doesn’t see it the same way.

Despite this drastic difference in revenue, the members of the USWNT make 38% of what the men make. In a typical 20 game season, the women earn 62% less than the men, while the average gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the U.S. is only 11%.

Even international organizations like FIFA discriminate against female teams. Last year it was announced that the total prize money for the WWC was going to be doubled from $15 to $30 million, while the men compete for the $400 million dollar pot.

Our men’s team didn’t even qualify for their own World Cup in 2018, but the women have won back to back cups and are still paid less. It should be win more, get paid more. Not play exponentially better than the less than mediocre men (who have never won a World Cup) and get paid a fraction of what they do.

So, on March 8, 28 internationally recognized players filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the USSF alleging they were treated unfairly and paid obnoxiously less than the members of the men’s national team. The case is still being worked through, but it seems that something will be done to get these women the money they so rightfully deserve.

With these prominent women going head-to-head with the largest soccer federation in the country, USWNT sponsors like Secret and LUNA bar have stepped up and supported the cause by giving the players thousands of dollars each to equal out the pay disparity. So in this fight for equality, what’s next?