But that doesn’t mean, on the whole, that it’s not true that soccer players on the U.S. Women’s National Team are paid less than players on the U.S. Men’s National Team.
And given that the women generate as much revenue as the men, at least inside certain delineations, and they garner many more wins and much more overall competitive success, that seems strange. Unless it’s taken in the greater context of the general wage gap between men and women across all professions in the United States. Then, it’s probably not strange at all.
It’s just stupid.
And the wage gap between men and women in Utah is one of the widest in the nation — for reasons beyond discrimination, but not completely separate from it.
Uh-oh, we’re getting political here.
Can someone please explain why, in terms that go beyond the absurd, that in a so-called enlightened society a woman who does the exact same work as a man, a woman who fills her role in a job with the same skill, the same abilities, the same effectiveness, with the same contributions to the advancement of a company or an endeavor of any kind isn’t always paid the same?
I’ve read the excuses, er, explanations that apply in some cases — absences from work because of pregnancy and child care and women sometimes concentrate in lower-paying occupations for whatever reasons.
It’s more than just that, though.
And the U.S. women’s soccer players are an illustration of it, at least in part. I get it, some differences are buried in the financials, as well. Either way, that’s why those players are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation in a class action suit, claiming they are not treated as equals to the men, that they are paid less and they are provided with inferior support. They are representing their country, after all.
And also generating revenue for the federation, and certainly reaping many more victories on the international stage. The USWNT just won its fourth World Cup title in dominating fashion, defending its previous championship.
According to reports, there once had been a greater gap in revenue generated by the men versus the women, but that gap has lessened. It can be dependent to some extent on which team is engaged in World Cup play in any given cycle, but since the men’s team did not qualify for the most recent WC and the women just won theirs, the women are bound to provide increased money this time around.
A serious wage gap between men’s professional leagues and women’s leagues — in which men are paid more than women based on revenue generated by those leagues — think NBA versus WNBA — could be taken into consideration. Although, NBA players get a substantially larger portion (some 30 percent more) of league revenue than WNBA players do. In other words, not only is the NBA pie considerably larger, but its players get a much larger portion of that larger pie than the women players get in the WNBA.
Even if USSF revenue is greater from the men’s side, the overall positive effect the success of the women’s team is having on soccer in this country should be factored in. Growth of the game here shouldn’t be measured solely in financial statements. Most certainly, women should not get less than men on account of the fact that women are women and men are men.
Pretty basic stuff.
It will be compelling theater to see how this court case brought by the USWNT works out. I’m no lawyer, but the aforementioned positive publicity stirred, the profile lifted by the U.S. women with their World Cup win, with the strong personalities on that team, and with the sponsorship dollars that likely will follow from their continued success should aid their cause — if not legally, at least in the realm of public opinion.
For a lot of American sports fans, watching the women tear up the best competition the world had and has to offer was and is much more entertaining than watching the men stumble and bumble against national teams from countries with the overall population of … Cleveland.
Win or lose, and they almost always win, the U.S. women are a gas to watch and should be paid. Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, and a nation full of capable women in a whole slew of other professions, I think, would agree. Maybe some men, too, if they lean their club up against the cave wall long enough to think it through.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.