Why…Are We Still Having These Types Of Conversations?

The USA soccer team, arguably considered the best in the world, is currently playing a World Cup tournament in France. They have won three of the seven World Cups played, including the last one in 2015 and are playing in the semis next week. They have a chance to win a fourth World Cup but it won’t be easy

By comparison, since World War II, the men’s team has advanced past the World Cup round of 16 exactly once. They finished eighth in 2002. They are 24th in FIFA’s rankings and failed to even qualify for last years tournament.

According to audited financial statements from the U.S. Soccer Federation obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the women’s team has generated more revenue than men’s games over the past three years.

So why was the women’s team forced to file a federal employment discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging that although they could earn a maximum of 99,000 for winning 20 friendly games this year, the men would earn an average of 260,000 for the same exact accomplishment.
For winning the 2015 World Cup, the women’s team received 1.725 million from the federation. For its 15th place finish, the men took home bonuses totaling nearly 5.4 million.
According to figures obtained from the Federation’s financial report, the women’s team helped the Federation exceed it’s overall projected revenue  for the year by 18 million.

According to the lawsuit, the women’s player association has proposed a revenue sharing model that would tie player compensation to revenue generated by the women’s national team.

Seems fair  and reasonable to me. Oh, and the men’s national team has issued a statement of support for the women’s team lawsuit and the revenue sharing model.

By the way, this is not just a USA problem. The best female soccer player in the world, Ada Hegerberg, from Norway, has not played for her national team since 2017, protesting what she states is gender discrimination from the Norwegian Federation between how it treats the men’s and women’s team. While Norway has since adjusted their pay scales and bonuses, it’s hasn’t done enough to encourage Hegerberg to return.

So the big question is why? How can an organization who acknowledges that women are generating higher revenues than men, continue to pay women less?

What year are we living in and when will this type of antiquated thinking finally be put behind us?

 

47 thoughts on “Why…Are We Still Having These Types Of Conversations?

  1. JT Twissel

    I coached a girls soccer team a few decades ago and the father of one of the girls played for Spain in at least two World Cup matches. He absolutely refused to help with the coaching and wouldn’t even come to her games. I ran into similar situations with fathers from other European and South American countries. The notion of girls even playing was so abhorrent that I’m amazed it’s changed. Hopefully they will get the compensation they deserve but I doubt attitudes towards women playing soccer have changed that much. Sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. George Post author

      You’re right, it’s not about reason at all. I have a T-shirt that reads, “common sense is so rare these days, it should be considered a super power.” It probably fits here.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Sorryless

        That’s a classic line!

        As for the ladies, I was thinking to myself that the conversation as per equity is undermined as a collective, which makes this country even more culpable.

        Let’s face it, there are lots of countries where the idea of the ladies being equal to the men (much less better) is ridiculed. Which makes our role that much more important. Pay up, level the paying field (no need for spell check) and show the rest of the world how it’s SUPPOSED to be done.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorryless

        Nope, it won’t be easy in the least. But they have shown a tenacity when it comes to controlling the action.

        Carazy!

        50 combined runs in two games! Pitching is definitely an afterthought in that stadium!. Meanwhile the Bombers continue the HR streak and the IL occupation. But they keep on winning. And DJ, he’s a serious MVP candidate.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. George Post author

      Oh I’m sure they felt they had to support it or look foolish. But at least they did. Yes, it still exists in so many areas of our society. Sad.

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  2. Ann Coleman

    Sadly, it seems that no matter how good women athletes are, there is still the perception that the men’s sports team matter more and should therefore be paid more. It is ridiculous and it needs to end. Women have come such a long way (in many countries, at least), but there is obviously still a long way to go before we achieve true equality.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. oldmainer

    I am in total agreement with you relative to the inequal treatment of the Womens Hockey team, realizing that at a minimum, it is just the tip of the iceberg. As you ask George, when are we going to stop having this conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      You’re right, this really is just the tip of the iceberg. I wish we all had the answer to that question, or at least a glimmer of hope.

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  4. aFrankAngle

    Well stated, George – and I hope women’s team all over the world win this one. It doesn’t seem to be that hard – that is, equal pay for equal work – let alone the revenue generation factor that you stated. On the other hand, Wimbledon started today – and they think they practice it – but don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Al

    I have been a follower of women’s college since my days as a spectator of Wake Forest University sports. I guarantee you they play with all the ferocity of the men and maybe more. And they dive on the floor for loose balls far more than the male prima donnas. I don’t for the life of me understand why tickets to women’s game are less than the men’s. If it weren’t for the size difference, they would kick men’s teams asses with their frenzied style of play.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      You’re right, Al. What they lack in size and speed they make up for with heart and grit. People always want to make the revenue argument but that doesn’t apply here.

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  6. roughwighting

    I don’t know. It’s so discouraging for women. And for girls who watch all of this. My granddaughter is enjoying soccer and lacrosse and ballet and gymnastics. She’s good in all of these things, but she gets raves from people about her ‘girlie’ sports – ballet and gymnastics. These people have obviously never tried to do barre work, or parallel bars or…. don’t get me started.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Dale

    I’m catching up on my emails…
    And yes. Why are we still having this conversation? It’s ridiculous. ESPECIALLY in soccer with your ladies vs your men… shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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