After one of the most successful years in United States soccer history, the US Women’s National Soccer Team has been a big name in the world of soccer and in advocating for women’s rights. Although they clenched the World Cup title in a 5-2 victory against Japan last July racking in over 23 million viewers, making it the most watched soccer game in American history, unfortunately; they are far from reaching pay equity.
In attempt to solve this issue, the US women’s team filed a complaint in partnership with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) demanding equal pay for their team. They have a very strong case as they are using evidence of large discrepancies between them and the US Men’s Soccer team who on average make 40% more than then the women and earned $9 million dollars for finishing 11th place in the World Cup whereas the women’s team only made $2 million for winning the World Cup. Not only do they get paid far less than the men, but for friendlies (games that do not count as tournaments or qualifying matches) they aren’t paid at all. It has come to the point where the team is considering boycotting the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio until they receive equal pay.
As a teenage girl, especially one who plays soccer, it’s aggravating that these women are paid far less than the men when their sport is just as important, passionate, and inspiring as the men. I was lucky enough to attend the World Cup Final against Japan in Vancouver on 4th of July weekend and it was a memory I will never forget. To experience the passion, determination and hunger that these women had for the beautiful game, only to see their hard work rewarded in such an extraordinary way was completely ineffable. Everyone deserves the right to equal pay and I am glad to see such influential women advocating not only for their team but also for all women involved with the sport (and otherwise) to inspire women to stand up for their rights and gender equality.