Women soccer stars battle for equal pay

Camille Berko, Reporter

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$99,000. Seems like a lot of money, right? 

How about $263,320. Which amount would you rather have?

What if I told you the difference between collecting one of these paychecks over another is the difference between being a man or a woman. Shocked? Sadly, I’m not. 

The fight for equal pay is primarily led by the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT). According to CNBC, the above values represent, on average, the different salaries of the USWNT versus the USMNT in 2017. 

That’s a $123,320 difference, not including winners bonuses. 

Is this because people like to watch men’s sports more than women? When it comes to the US soccer teams I don’t think so. Quite honestly, it’s more entertaining to watch the women play because they play quality opponents and have winning results. 

On the men’s side, however, despite recent improvements, they play poorly against average opponents. 

Not only do they get paid less and perform better, but the women’s team consistently brings in larger revenue than the men. According to The Wall Street Journal, the US Soccer Federation (USSF) states that women’s games generate about $1.8 million more than men’s. 

Where’s the money going? Why are the women paid less if they have more people buying their jerseys and coming to their games? But most importantly, why is this still a problem in today’s society? 

What kind of game is this?

Despite evidence to the contrary, there are people who’ll argue everything is fine. They’ll say women actually earn more money individually because of contracts signed with brands, but how many of them have this opportunity? Maybe four or five of 23. 

Not only does this argument fail in that category, but it’s not the root of the issue. The problem is that the USSF isn’t paying its female and male players equally. It doesn’t matter how much they make outside of soccer, the men and women have the same love and the same dedication for the same sport yet different salaries from one organization. 

As a young girl, I always looked up to the USWNT, so many of them were, and still are, my idols. However, I’m older now and learning more about the disadvantages they face. 

From my position, I played soccer all my life and I now look at professional women and see the uninviting future of a lifelong career. 

I would be selecting a path where I would be constantly discriminated against. I would be in the middle of an ongoing battle that some view as un-winnable. It’s all in how you look at it though. 

The Federation wants me to see it this way, but I don’t. These women have the chance to change history. Yes, there are many obstacles and it’s hard, but what challenge has ever come easy. The USWNT players are fighting for their right to finally be seen as equal to men. 

Although people like to debate the issue of unequal pay for the USWNT, it’s truly only a small fish in a vast pond of problems. Across the board, sports and everyday professions, women are consistently paid less. 

It’s 2020, not 1920. This needs to be fixed.