The USA Women’s soccer team won its fourth FIFA World Cup championship in 2019 and now faces the challenge of fighting for equal pay as men. Some people might argue that men’s sports are more popular, yet the women’s team drew a much larger television audience in 2019 than what the men attracted the previous year. Here are the key points surrounding the issue of equal pay for this year’s women champions.
Women Champions Setting Records
As the US women’s team won another championship a crowd at the stadium, Stade de Lyon in France, began shouting equal pay!” The finals have been held once every four years since the first championship in 1991. After 8 championships, the US women’s team has won half, making it the most victorious team in the league.
Earlier in March 28 women who have played on the team such as Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation (aka US Soccer). The suit accuses the FIFA organization as not providing the same level of working conditions or pay compared with the men’s soccer league.
In terms of performance, the women have literally outplayed the men. While the men did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the women have won the finals back to back years. As far as attracting a television audience, the women’s World Cup attracted over 14 million American viewers in 2019, whereas the men’s championship in 2018 drew about 11 million, according to Nielsen figures.
Considering Game Revenue
Even when comparing revenue, women have beaten the men. During the 2016 to 2018 period the women’s games generated $50.8 million in revenue versus the men’s games bringing in $49.9 million. So the women players suing US Soccer have valid points in their favor since they dominate men in terms of championships, revenue and TV ratings yet get paid less. The New York Times has reported that the prize money for the 2019 Women’s World Cup was $30 million versus $400 million paid to the men the previous year.
But now Congress is starting to look into the matter. A letter from 50 congress members to the president of US Soccer asked why women are paid far less than men. The letter stated that women players make about $30,000 less than men players. Men also get nearly 40% more in bonuses. The equal pay matter may help bring more attention to the sport and help boost the salaries of women players.