U.S. Women's Soccer Takes a Stand for Equal Pay

Kasey Lynch and Miranda Mauro (K&M) are out to prove that sports aren't just for the male gender. Every week we will be giving you updates on what's going on in the sports world as well as our own perspective on sports-related topics. "Two Girls and Some Sports" is taking the sports column to the next level. And yes, we know what we're talking about.

One of my favorite things to watch is a group of bad-ass women dominate sports because it's such a male-dominated industry. As a woman, it's inspiring to me to see female athletes like Serena Williams and Mia Hamm be the best at the sport that they absolutely love. This summer, most of us followed another group of talented women, the United States Women’s National Team, all the way to winning the World Cup. The team is stacked with players like Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, who have worked their entire lives to be on this team. The Women’s World Cup brought in one of the largest audiences it ever has, and the sport is only growing. In fact, the final game of the World Cup this summer when U.S. beat Japan was seen by 25.4 million viewers on Fox. This broke the record for a men’s or women’s soccer game on English-language television in this country. 

Unfortunately, things turned sour pretty quickly after the win by the women’s team. This is due to the amount of compensation that the team received after their win. United States Soccer, the governing body for the sport of soccer in America, paid the women’s team only $2 million. Just to put things into perspective, when the German men’s team won in 2014, they earned $35 million. The women’s team earned as little as 40 percent of what the United States men’s national team earned, even as they captured their third World Cup. This adds insult to the fact that the women’s team has been nearly amazing and even are the gold medal favorites for this summer’s Olympics, and the men’s team has been pretty mediocre. The women’s team also produced nearly $20 million in revenue for U.S. Soccer in 2015. 

Courtesy: Elite Daily

This past Thursday, important members from the USWNT-- Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn-- filed an action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The action accuses U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination in relation to the money the federation pays to the U.S. men’s national team. The women argue that the collective bargaining agreements that were made on each aspect of what both the men and women’s teams get compensated for has expired. U.S. Soccer argues that the collective bargaining agreement is still in place through 2016, because of a deal they made back in 2013. The players say that they filed the action because it does not matter whether an agreement is expired or not, rather that U.S. Soccer will still not consider equal pay even with a new agreement.

Many athletes have come out in support of the USWNT in their fight for equal pay, including members from the U.S. Men’s National Team. More importantly, it is the message behind this fight that the players who have filed the motion want to highlight. It is not just a matter of fighting for money, but much more than that. I think that even if the team does not get paid equally, then they deserve a more fair way of compensation. A way that many people have discussed as a fair way of compensation would actually lead to the women’s team receiving more money than the men’s. This is because the women have won more championships than the men-- the men’s national team has never won a championship-- and have gained much more popularity from being so talented. I think that people should be compensated based on their skills and success, no matter the gender. The USWNT has been more successful than the men’s, which makes it only common sense as to why they should be paid the same amount, if not more.