An ever-growing problem that has remained ever since the 1964 Civil Rights Act is of equal pay. The most recent protest for equal pay has come from the US Women’s National Soccer team. The team is requesting close to 67 million dollars in damages per the Equal Pay Act. However, Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the case under the basis that “members of the USWNT did not prove wage discrimination under the Equal Pay Act because the women’s team played more games and made more money than the men’s team.”
This statement is true, but not for individual players. Since 2015, the United States Women’s team has made more money through tournaments and games, having won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, while the men’s team did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Yet, the women on the team earn $4,950 less for each win in their 20 yearly exhibition games. The men on the other hand are given $13,166 for each win. This results in a $164,320 annual difference.
However unfair this may seem, the women’s team were presented with the opportunity to sign a CBA, with the same pay structure as the men along with extra benefits, which they rejected. The cause for this is baffling, considering that the women are getting what they want. Klausner also added in his statement regarding the CBA that the “WNT explicitly rejected the terms they now seek to retroactively impose on themselves.” In simple terms, Klausner is the players hypocrites.
Though the women may seem obtuse, their fight is not just for equal pay. The women are trying to bring to the forefront the preexisting problems which have bothered them for decades, and make a resounding statement. Their leader, Megan Rapinoe, has persistently talked about giving women’s sports the same recognition through sponsorships and media rights. With many other women’s sports leagues around the nation looking to follow in the steps of the soccer team, the fight for equal pay and more importantly, equal recognition, is far from over.
Photo credit: Sky Sports