Aside from the team’s fourth World Cup title, the American women are also returning from France on Monday with a $250,000 payout, which includes bonuses and a share of the $4 million winner’s purse – a far cry from the $38 million that the French men split for winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That fact and the reality that the U.S. women are paid less than their male counterparts had rapper Snoop Dog leading a chorus of celebrity fans demanding equal pay across American soccer. ‘The sorry-ass f***ing men from the U.S. soccer team, everyone’s s***, ain’t ever gonna win s***, can’t even get out the f***ing first round,’ the 47-year-old entertainer said on Instagram. ‘Man, pay them ladies, man. ‘Pay them, girls, what they worth.’
A direct comparison of U.S. men’s and women’s team earnings is difficult because the two sides have different collective bargaining agreements with the U.S. Soccer Federation, play a different number of games and earn different kinds of bonuses. However, a more direct comparison can be made between the prize money at the most recent men’s and women’s World Cups. According to The New York Times, the breakdown for the U.S. women works as follows: They were paid for qualifying for the World Cup – something the U.S. men failed to do in 2018 – and they also received bonuses for making the final roster. Finally, each women’s player receives between $110,000 and $120,000 for winning the tournament.
The French men, meanwhile, all took home an average of about $1.6 million. In fact, the prize money in the women’s World Cup was $30 million overall – just 7.5 percent of the $400 million FIFA doled out in Russia last year. And while the men’s World Cup has traditionally been one of the most-watched events in television, the 2019 Women’s World Cup is starting to approach the same level of popularity. FIFA projects the 2019 World Cup will finish with over 1 billion viewers across all platforms following the widely-watched 2018 men’s World Cup, which generated an audience of 3.5 billion. Official Nielsen ratings from Sunday’s final between the U.S. and the Netherlands have not been released, but the game is believed to be among the most-watched soccer events in American history.
That broadcast concluded with American fans in Lyon chanting ‘equal pay,’ which is a reference to the team’s ongoing lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for ‘intentional gender discrimination.’ The team reportedly made tentative arrangements to begin mediation to resolve the conflict, but it’s not known when those efforts will resume. In the lawsuit, which was filed in March, the U.S. women explain the U.S. Soccer Federation has continued to pay them less than the men ‘for substantially equal work.’ The lawsuit goes on to mention a discrepancy in training and travel conditions, as well as inequality in promotion and development.
And although it is difficult to compare the pay structures of the two teams, the American women outlined a scenario under the previous C.B.A. in which they both played 20 friendlies. Under that scenario, the lawsuit claimed, a member of the U.S. women’s team would earn $164,320 less or just 38 percent of what a male counterpart would earn. The Washington Post analyzed the numbers under the current C.B.A. and found that a similar 20-game scenario now would leave the American women earning $28,333 less per player, or 89 percent of what the men made. And if both teams lost every game, the players would all earn equal amounts because the U.S. women receive a $100,000 base salary and the men make $5,000 in bonus money when they lose.
Of course, the U.S. women are two-time defending World Cup champions, which is why soccer governing bodies like FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation are under increasing pressure to adjust pay structures. Although he is not involved in the lawsuit, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was booed on Sunday in Lyon, which delighted U.S. captain Megan Rapinoe. ‘Everyone is ready for this conversation to move to the next step,’ she said. ‘We’re done with: ‘Are we worth it? Should we have equal pay?’ Infantino did say FIFA will be doubling the prize total for the woman’s next competition in 2023, but Rapinoe demanded action now. ‘It certainly is not fair,’ she said. ‘We should double it now and use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time.’
Following the American win, celebrities were quick to back up Rapinoe in her demands. ‘Congratulations to the #USWNT on their 4th World Cup win!’ Tennis legend Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter. ‘These athletes have brought more attention, support, & pride to women’s sport than perhaps any other team in history. It is long past time to pay them what they rightly deserve.’ Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers used an ‘#equalpay’ has a tag, which was then used by actress Regina King.
Content Credit: dailymail