Despite claiming multiple World Cups and outperforming the men’s team, the U.S. women’s soccer team is still paid less than the men’s.
During this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the national team won its first two group stage games, one against Thailand with a score of 13 to 0 and the other against Chile with a score of 3 to 0. The Thailand match was the highest goal-scoring game in Women’s World Cup history.
The team also has three Women’s World Cup titles — the most of all time — and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
Yet the players' pay does not reflect their accomplishments.
The team continued to win and asked for equal pay, rightfully so, but the U.S. Soccer Federation would not budge.
This led to the U.S. Women’s National Team filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on March 8, which calls for the women’s team to be paid as much as the men’s team.
According to the lawsuit, a comparison of the women’s team and men’s team pay showed that if each team played 20 noncompetitive games in a year and each team won them all, female national team players would earn a maximum of $99,000 or $4,950 per game, while male national team players would earn an average of $263,320 or $13,166 per game.
In the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup Brazil, the men’s team received $5.375 million in performance bonuses despite losing before the quarterfinals, while the women won the 2015 World Cup and received $1.725 million, according to the suit.
In an open letter to the U.S. Women’s National Team regarding the lawsuit, U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro stated the federation is committed to reaching a common ground.
A common misconception is that the women’s team doesn’t generate the revenue the men do, but in the U.S., that isn’t true.
During the last World Cup in 2015, the women’s team brought in more revenue than the men’s because of their success in the competition. It also broke records; about 23 million viewers tuned in to the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final game, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to a U.S. Soccer Federation press release.
As students and as a community, we must keep watching and keep supporting this team as they fight for another World Cup title in France. The same energy that was showcased in 2015 should be sustained as they play for their fourth title.
The women's national team represents the country with excellence, and the players’ accomplishments should be rewarded accordingly. Fans should continue supporting these women and advocating for equal pay alongside them.
The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of Editor-in-Chief Reese Oxner; managing editor Brian Lopez; news editor Amanda Padilla; life and entertainment editor Rocio Hernandez; copy desk chief Sean Cameron Howard; and two staff members. This week, news reporters Chris Amaya and Julio Vega sat in as voting members.