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Watch Out, the Soccer Feminists are Coming

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Watch Out, the Soccer Feminists are Coming

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Maya Long, Staff Writer

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The United States Women’s National soccer team (USWNT) won the world cup in 2015 against Japan 5-2. It was the most watched game of soccer in US in history. Women’s soccer has been around since 1913, making it 105 years old. Yet, the USWNT and club players in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) still get paid significantly less than their male counterparts. The women have proven on multiple occasions to be more equipped to win and bring in viewers.

The USWNT has won the World Cup 3 times, Olympic gold medals 4 times and have won the well known CONCACAF championship 7 times. The best result for the Men’s team in the World Cup was 3rd and they came in 11th place the last Summer Olympics. This is not to say that the men’s team isn’t a strong team – they have won the CONCACAF 6 times, and are a team made up of talented athletes. The question is: Why do women get paid significantly less, even when they play significantly better?

The average American women’s soccer player is paid 40% less than the male counterparts. As of 2015, Alex Morgan, the highest paid women soccer player in America, reportedly got paid around $450,000 while playing for the Portland Thorns, a team in the NWSL. She also brings home around 1 million or more in endorsement deals. An average male player makes at a minimum 2 million dollars, and that is not counting international stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Recently, many players from the USWNT have openly advocated against the gender wage gap by filing a complaint with the US Soccer Federation. Players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo have come forward with the statement, “Equal Play, Equal Pay” and are insisting to be paid the same as the men. Critics of these statements flood the team with comments saying that because the women aren’t as popular and don’t bring in as many ticket sales, that they don’t deserve the same pay. While it is true that women really don’t bring the same coverage worldwide or in the US as the men, the women are arguing that they still deserve the same pay.

Overall, as a female soccer player, I feel discouraged to even dream of playing professionally if I know that I’m not going to be paid the same. The women have garnered the most watched game in US history and still are looked down on. If anything, I think this shows the true power that this team has. They can be as popular as the men. I hope that, as the world starts to view more women’s soccer and change their views on women’s role in sports, the wage gap will close and the women will be paid the same. As a soccer player, I hope that the young girls out there that dream about playing professionally can go into a league and sport that supports their dreams and futures.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/sports/soccer/womens-world-cup-final-was-most-watched-soccer-game-in-united-states-history.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/sports/soccer/usmnt-uswnt-soccer-equal-pay.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-women-soccer-team-usa-gender-discrimination-equal-pay/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2016/04/12/womens-soccer-salaries-the-economic-justification/#2c9cd5671ad8

 

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Watch Out, the Soccer Feminists are Coming”

  1. Mitch Conlon on May 22nd, 2018 11:20 am

    In sports where women generate comparable revenue, such as tennis, they receive comparable pay.

    When women’s soccer actually GENERATES the same revenue as the men’s game, ONLY then will women actually deserve to be paid the same. Does ANYONE sane contend WNBA players should get paid like NBA players? Of course not!

  2. Will Savich on May 25th, 2018 2:26 pm

    Do you have any connection to Sandy Spring? Or did you just get here from looking for articles about feminism?

  3. Maya Long on May 25th, 2018 2:49 pm

    I understand your point of view. My point in writing this article was to point out that the women’s team and other women’s sports teams have the POTENTIAL to be as popular and gain that much coverage. With what they’ve done with the world cup, it shows the possibility of being that popular, if not more popular, then the men’s team.

    Of course, parts of the pay come from endorsements, which I touched on with Alex Morgan. She gets paid significantly more than others because of her endorsement deals, not because she is a better player.

    The problem with our society/the US is that general audiences don’t feel the need to watch women’s soccer as we do with the men. As someone who watches them every game, I can tell you it is entertaining in its own way and it’s amazing what these women can do. I feel like our society doesn’t put as much emphasis on women’s sports as we do men and that’s why we don’t see that much coverage.

    As I said, the 2015 world cup was the MOST watched soccer game in US history. That’s a pretty impressive statistic and if that carried out to normal NSWL games, the women’s league would skyrocket into success.

    That’s all I’m saying and I completely understand your comments, as it’s the view point that almost every critic of the equal pay movement is making, but I feel like you miss the point of the potnetial and possibility that women’s sports have if they were attemped to be covered the same as men’s sports are.

  4. Eduardo Polon on May 24th, 2018 9:07 pm

    Keep working very hard and purposefully, and don’t lose sight of your dreams, Maya. There are increasingly more cracks in that glass ceiling. Eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, it’s going to break, and you will be part of the positive reason why.

  5. Maria Menjivar on May 25th, 2018 2:49 pm

    This is a new point of view I have not learned about in the past. I completely assumed (I don’t know why) that these professional soccer players all got similar pay regardless of gender. However, I am now realizing their are other fields where celebrities and famous people, such as actors and actresses, do not get the same pay for doing just as well and just as much work. I applaud you for writing this article becasue I certainly was not aware of it. It is incredibly important to create this awareness I just received to be able to cause positive change that our world really needs. Both men and women deserve the same attention and understanding to be able to determine who gets more or less pay, if any.

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Watch Out, the Soccer Feminists are Coming