U.S. Soccer, the governing body for the sport in America, pays the members of the men’s and women’s teams for international matches. The men’s team earns higher wages in comparison to the women’s team.
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A perfect example of this case is when the women only earned $2 million the summer of 2015 for winning the World Cup while the men’s team earned $9 million without advancing past the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. Five of the women’s players filed a federal complaint accusing the U.S. of discrimination of wages even with their revenue increase.
The soccer world and others should care and be mindful of this because of the equal employment opportunities and the equal protection clause for both men and women. In the end, we are in search of equal opportunities for our future and for the little boys and girls who have dreams to succeed as well. U.S. Soccer may think they can get away with this because the majority of sports that pay their women players are always lower than the men’s sports. There was a time where the women’s national soccer team were making more than the men’s team. There will always be a controversy within the wage difference between men and women. At some point, there should be a solution and an agreement on how much everyone makes.
I won’t settle for less than equal pay, Former National Women’s Soccer Goalie Hope Solo, said with strong words fighting for equal pay as a professional women’s soccer player. This has been a constant debate throughout time about the equal pay between men and women in the professional sports industry. Many women argue that they do just as much as men do in their field. From training camps to similar training periods and even equivalent working conditions. Throughout this paper, we will touch on some major factors as to why women should get paid the same amount as men do.
To begin, throughout the duration of a soccer player’s career they go through many different levels before becoming a professional. They typically come up in the youth academy programs and then they move into high school level, from here they normally select a college to attend and they can opt out after their first year to enter the draft. From here, this is where we run into major issues with differentiating between both genders in this sport.
Professional soccer players on the men side of things tend to make on average about $60,000, and they can see an upwards of up to $300,000 in wages per year. As for women soccer players they make on average about $30,000 and can get paid an upwards of $80,000 a year. Almost a $220,000 drop off and the question is why? Women prepare just as hard, and the demand of the head coaches for Women soccer player don’t differ because of their gender. This is still an ongoing debate as to why women aren’t being paid the same as men.
To continue on the requirements of both men and women, they both have a similar playing field as men do. They train on the same size field as men, play with the same size ball and even run training sessions that are just as long. So why is there such a gap in the pay for women soccer compared to men? Well, many argue that the fanbase of men’s soccer game brings compared to that of a women’s soccer game explains why there is a pay gap.
For example, the last world cup for both men and women respectively both had a large number of viewers. During the Men’s world cup final in 2014 over 3.2 billion viewers across the globe. As for the women they had over 40 million across the world. With the men’s soccer final seeing such a difference in views across the world, this is the argument as to why there is a pay gap between both genders in the sport.
On the other hand, U.S. women soccer is much more popular than that on the men side. In fact, the last Women’s World Cup finals had over 23 million views across the U.S. This was the most watched soccer game for both men’s and women’s in history. So, holding the argument that women are just as equal to men in soccer especially in the U.S. is a valid point. So why are we so off on paying women? If they are playing under equivalent working conditions, what’s stopping women from having more money. This argument has now been ongoing for decades, but when will we start to see changes in the current professional field of soccer?
To continue, just to compare some numbers. In a research constructed by a business insider, they compared the annual pay based on 20 games between both men and women. If a men’s soccer team lost all 20 games, they are expected to bring in at least $100,000 in pay, whereas if the women’s team lost all 20 games, they bring in approximately $72,000. In addition, if each team were to win 10 games both on the Men and the Women side, the men’s team would get a payout of up to $181, 660, whereas the Women would get up $85,500. This is almost a $100,000 in pay difference for achieving the exact same number of wins.
Lastly, if each team were to hypothetically win all 20 games, the men’s team payout would be up to $263,320, whereas, the women would get $99,000 if the accomplished the same. This is almost a $180,000 difference in pay according to a business insider. This means that even if the women’s team went 20-0 and the men’s team went 10-10, the men would still get paid almost twice as much as that of the women’s team. This is why many professional women soccer athletes are infuriated with the current pay and inequality in between the two and demand equal compensation.
Another huge compensation gap is the world cup bonuses. This is one of the most surprising numbers between the two and the difference is unimaginable. For instance, if a men team finished third in the world cup, they would receive $52.083 in bonuses, whereas if a women team finished in the same place, they would receive less than half of that at about $20,000. An even more remarkable number is if the men’s team finished in second, they would be compensated for $260,417 according to business insider, whereas the women would receive just about $32,500 in bonuses.
This is almost $230,000 more than that of women. The only difference between the two would be their gender. Lastly, a first-place finisher in the world cup would get over $390, 625 on the men’s side, whereas the women’s team would only get $75,000. Compared to the men, this is almost an offensive offer by FIFA when it comes to compensating their players for their work. This is not only an embarrassment for FIFA as an organization but for the sport and what they represent as a whole for the women’s teams.
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