Introduction

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has grown in many ways over the past years. Not only has it grown in popularity, but the team has also worked its way to the top to become the number one women’s team in the world, with four FIFA World Cup wins. The U.S. women’s soccer team has had more recent wins than the men’s team, yet they are paid much less. Both teams should be offered the same pay structure because the women’s team has earned it by winning more games and generating more revenue than the men’s team.

Women’s Wins

Women’s soccer has become much more popular since their World Cup win in 2015. Now, they have claimed four different World Cup titles in 1991, 1999, 2015, and 2019, and are the current champions. Although the men’s game has been around much longer, they still have not won a single World Cup title. The women’s team is higher ranked than them as well. While they have worked their way to become number one, the men’s team is currently ranked 23rd.

Amount They Are Paid

Although the women’s team has recently been winning more games than the men, they are still paid less for each win than the men are for each loss. According to CBS news, the women start with a base salary of up to $72,000 per year, and earn a bonus of $1,350 for wins, but nothing for a loss. The men, however, can earn a bonus up to $17,625 for a win. For each loss, the men earn $5,000. “There’s two different pay structures. The men get paid per game. Whether they win or lose, they get paid. The women were on a salary-based contract,” states Hope Solo, former USWNT goalkeeper. For the World Cup, the winning men’s team in 2019 earned $400 million to split out of the $6 billion in total. The USWNT was awarded a very small amount compared to the men’s- $30 million out of $131 million in total. For making the national team, women are only paid $15,000. The men can be paid up to $68,750.

Viewers and Money

For three years since the 2015 World Cup, the U.S. women’s team has produced roughly $1.9 million more in revenue than the men’s team with the women making about $50.8 million. The USSF claims that all gaps in the pay wages are due to revenue generated, even though the women’s team has brought up more than the men in the past few years. The current highest rated soccer match in U.S. history is the 2015 Women’s World Cup, for both men and women, with over 750 million viewers watching the USWNT battle for victory over Japan.

Lawsuit

On International Women’s Day, March 8, all twenty-eight team members joined together to sue the U.S. Soccer Federation on gender discrimination. USWNT player Carli Lloyd states that the women should be paid more because “[they] win. [They’re] successful. Should get what [they] deserve.” In the lawsuit, it states that if both the men’s and women’s team were to play 20 non-tournament games, the women could only earn a maximum of $99,000, while the men could earn $263,320. The team claims that it’s a lawsuit only against the USSF, and not the U.S. men’s team.

Solution

The solution to this problem is quite simple: the pay structure for men and women soccer players should be the same, so that they have equal earning opportunities. Thus, teams will be paid what they deserve, able to receive bonuses for performing exceptionally well, but have equal opportunity to earn those gratuities through winning games. Then the women will no longer have to win the whole World Cup and become the number one team to come even close to receiving the salary of the men’s. After the USWNT won their fourth World Cup, two Democratic senators introduced a new bill, one that requires equal pay for all U.S. national athletes. If this bill is passed, it could end the gap of pay and the women’s team will finally get what they have been fighting for their whole career.

[Image Attribute: Jamie Smed]

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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