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Wage Gap Between Male and Female Athletes

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Wage Gap Between Male and Female Athletes

The ongoing debate on equal pay of male and female athletes has been occurring for a long period of time. Recently, the sports world has seen less tolerance from female athletes, fans of women institutions and teams. Leagues like the Women’s National Basketball Association, United States Women’s National Team, or the United States Hockey Federation Women’s Team have started to boycott their sports until the wage gap is resolved(Howard). With the support of many male sports leagues like the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball, the fight for equality for women athletes has simply turned into a war. Players are boycotting sporting events or demanding new player deals. The facilities that the women athletes are given to practice and play in are considered second class to what male athletes play in. Women are paid greatly less and are poorly mistreated as they participate in the same physical sports as men.

“The United States Women’s National Soccer team have been making a push for equal pay for the last couple of years. Five players on the Women’s National Team, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, argue that the USWNT is paid almost four times less than the USMNT, despite producing nearly $20 million in revenues for U.S. Soccer in 2015”(Wahl). The United States Soccer Federation, which is in charge of both the Women and Men’s soccer teams, pays their players and coaches for games played. If the mens team plays a International Friendly, which is essentially an exhibition between two countries, and they win, they are payed $9,375 just for that game. If the Men’s Team Draws or more commonly

Fagan 2 referred to as a tie, they are paid $6,250. If the Men’s Team loses, they are payed $5,000. So no matter the result of the game, the Men’s team will get payed a substantial amount. Now, if the Women’s team wins they receive a pay of $1,350. If the Women’s team draws, they receive $0. If they loose, they also receive $0 (Wahl). The wage gap is incredibly vague and will not be fixed until 2018. The United States Women’s National team had to finally bring this to a case as they have waited patiently for years for these accommodations of equal pay for equal play to come to a conclusion. “These athletes have probably the strongest case for pay discrimination against women that I have ever seen, because you have a situation where not only are their work requirements identical to the men’s requirements—the same number of minimum friendlies they have to play, the same requirements to prepare for their World Cups—but they have outperformed the men both economically and on the playing field in every possible way the last two years. So this isn’t a case where someone can come in and say the reason the men are paid more is because they are more economically successful or the men outperform the women or they’re not comparable in the same way”(Wahl).

The USMNT World Cup occurred in 2014 and the USWNT world Cup occurred in 2015. The USMNT has never gone past the quarter finals of the World Cup and has never won an Olympic Gold Medal. Although, the USWNT have won 3 world cups, 4 Olympic Gold Medals (Walters). During the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the Women’s team advanced to and won the World Cup. The championship game had a total of 25.4 million viewers in the United States of America. That is the record of most viewers for any of the Men’s or Women’s games. The USWNT brought in a total revenue of $16 million in the year 2015. The majority of that money came from the World cup, as it was not a World Cup year for the USMNT (Walters).

Fagan 2 The American women were awarded a fraction of what the German men received after winning the

Fagan 3 World Cup last year: $2 million compared to $35 million for the men. The U.S. Men’s National Team was awarded $8 million just for reaching the round of 16(Kroh).

Unequal Pay is not the only problem for the USWNT. The facilities they are given to practice and play on are far worse then any facility the Men’s team ever has to use. In December of 2015 the Women’s team was on a victory tour across the nation for winning the World Cup that summer. the majority of the fields they played on were turf. They where in Hawaii and the USWNT was doing a walk through of Aloha Stadium and the turf was barely patched in. Multiple pieces of turf were sticking out and would cause drastic injuries. So the players decided not to play, with the support of the coaches. Eventually, even federation officials agreed with the decision(Kassouff). "The turf is obviously a lot different. It’s very fast. You have to be very delicate in your passing, more playing to feet then putting it in the air. It just bounces differently. Definitely over time some players are going to feel it in their joints and hopefully — knock on wood — there won’t be too many injuries but we’ll probably be seeing some turf-related injuries.” Carli Lloyd made that statement gesturing towards the idea that turf needs to go away(Vecsey). The Men’s team never plays on turf, and if they do it’s once a year. “It's abundantly clear that U.S. Soccer prefers grass, and in the case of the men they demand it. That is what they believe to be the superior surface and they will go to whatever lengths necessary to ensure the men play on it. Only, U.S. Soccer doesn't do that for the women”(Rosenblatt). “It’s tough. I don’t know why they would schedule [games] in venues where you have to lay the grass over the turf,” Clint Dempsey said in 2011. Clint Dempsey is apart of the USMNT and he said that if they play on turf fields, they put real grass over the turf for the match. So they really



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