Dems Call for Equal Pay for Women’s Soccer Team After Record-Breaking World Cup Game

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The U.S. women’s national team kicked ass, took names, and shattered records in its first game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, scoring more goals in a single game than the men’s national team has in the past four World Cups.

The reigning world champions began their journey to a potential fourth World Cup title with a stunning 13-0 victory over Thailand on Tuesday, but they face a tougher battle off the field in the fight for equal pay with their male counterparts.

Tuesday’s explosive World Cup debut brought the team’s fight back into the spotlight, and many Democratic lawmakers signaled their support for the team.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass the equal pay bill.

“When our women won the world soccer cup, they got less of a bonus then the men did for coming into the round of 16,” Schumer said in a video posted to his Twitter on Tuesday. “And so today, I’m asking that Leader McConnell put on the floor the pay equity bill, which passed the House, which says men should be paid the same as women, women should be paid the same as men for the same work. Whether it’s soccer, being a carpenter, being a doctor, or anything else.”

Watch the video below:

Schumer has a point. The U.S. men’s national team raked in $9 million for losing in the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. The women’s team received only $2 million for winning the entire tournament.

This year’s earnings can’t even be compared to the men’s because the men’s team didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Of course, men’s soccer on an international level brings in boatloads more revenue than women’s soccer.

But nationally, recent trends are seeing the opposite happen. In 2016, the New York Times found that the women’s national team brought in more revenue than the men’s team.

In 2015, the women’s team brought in a $6.6 million profit, while the men’s team’s profit was under $2 million. In 2016, a lawsuit from women players arguing for equal pay estimates they brought in a profit of $17.7 million.

Screenshot/The New York Times

But on a national level, the women are still paid much less. The New York Times reported this week that the minimum salary for professional women’s soccer in the U.S. is $16,538 a year, while men’s minimum salary is about $50,00 a year.

In those profit-generating years for the national team, the pay gap for individual players was monumental. A recent lawsuit brought forth by women’s players for equal pay found that male players earned an average of $263,320 for 20 exhibition games a year from 2013 to 2016, while women earned a maximum of $99,000.

But women were still paid less, even for doing more work. Because of their dominance in competitions, the women’s team played 19 more games than the men’s team did from 2015 to 2018.

All of that play led to stunning results. The women have three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. The U.S. women’s team was also home to the two top goal scorers in all of soccer, men’s or women’s, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

Those results continued Tuesday. The 13-0 game broke the record for the highest scoring game in all of World Cup history, men’s or women’s.

For some lawmakers, that was more than enough proof that the women deserved equal compensation.

The USWNT hits the field again on Sunday in a match against Chile.

What do you think?

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Steve Zinck
Member

Makes me sick, the Democrats didn’t care about this until the Women’s soccer team won and the D’s could try and benefit. How dishonest of them.

Kilr
Guest
Kilr

After the WC is is over let the women settle this issue by playing the men head to head in a 2 out of 3 series…..and regardless who wins split the gate and TV proceeds with the largest share going to the winner of the series.

Phoenix
Member

Why would they do that? Women are earning the league more revenue – they just want to be compensated for that.

It’s how most sports salaries are factored.

Phoenix
Member

I don’t know about handling this through a federal law…

The women’s soccer team has a valid argument for more pay. Not because they are winning more, but because they are generating more significantly more revenue. They are handling this through the courts as it should.

From a federal law perspective – people need to stop pretending that hard work or even equal work is always going to translate to how much you make. It isn’t that simple and it shouldn’t be.

Forcing employers to comply is also going to be a nightmare with oversight and enforcement.

Otis
Member

That is a salient point. Which ever ‘gender’ is bringing in the most profit, let them be paid accordingly. Economics can be a pain in the grass.

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