Equal Pay, Equal Play


Quinn Riley, Contributor

If you don’t know already, the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup in July. The women have won four titles and have continued to break records while being paid significantly less than the men who have yet to win a World Cup. The pay gap between the men and the women needs to be closed. As soccer continues to grow as a sport, the women are doing more to promote and excel the game. 

In March 2019, all 28 players of the U.S. Women’s National Team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation stating, “They are paid less than the men and are provided less support, despite their consistent outstanding performance” (The Washington Post). If the 20 exhibition games were played, the women would make $4,950 a game while the men would make $13,166 a game. The biggest problem in the pay gap is the professional league both genders play in. The women play in the National Women’s League (NWSL) and the men play in the Men’s League Soccer (MLS). The women make a minimum salary of $16,538 and a maximum salary of $46,200 while the men have a minimum salary of $56,250 and a maximum salary of $70,250 (Heavy.com). The Women’s National League is also not played on the major sports channels whereas the Men’s National League is usually, if not always, on channels such as ESPN or ESPN2. The women have also generated more sales since the equal pay movement. 

The women’s equal pay fight has generated record sales of the USWNT’s home jersey. “Nike’s chief executive Mark Parker reported the jersey is now the number one soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike.com in one season” (Washington Post). The long gap between revenue generated between genders has been disappearing in recent years and the women have contributed more than half of the federation’s revenue from games since 2016. After the Women’s World Cup Win in 2015, they generated $1.9 million more than men’s games. In recent years, women have generated more income because, they have been working on equal pay. 

All 28 players on the Women’s National Team, continue to break barriers and push the limits of women’s soccer and increase the popularity of the game for both genders. Equal pay is the least of what these women deserve and should get without question. Women will continue to change the game of soccer and make this sport better as a whole. Equal pay, equal play.