Female Athletes Seek Atonement For Unequal Pay

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Female Athletes Seek Atonement For Unequal Pay

Meghan Fennessy, Staff Writer

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Five players on the U.S. Women’s Soccer team filed a federal complaint, accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination, on March 29, 2016.

 

In the words of Carli Lloyd, a member of the team: “When I joined four teammates in filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer late last month, it had nothing to do with how much I love to play for my country. It had everything to do with what’s right and what’s fair and with upholding a fundamental American concept: Equal pay for equal play.”

 

U.S. Soccer pays the members of the male and female national teams to represent the United States in international competitions. The men’s team has historically been mediocre; whereas, the women’s team has been a phenomenon, winning world and Olympic championships.

 

The great injustice is that member of the women’s team earns as little as 40 percent of what a player on the United States Men’s National team earns. A men’s player, for example, receives $5,000 for a loss in a match but as much as $17,625 for a win against a top opponent. A women’s player receives $1,350 for a match, but only if the United States wins; women’s players receive no revenue for losses or ties.

 

More than a year after filing a wage discrimination complaint, the U.S. women’s national soccer team has agreed to a new set of wages in a negotiated agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation. However, the new bonus structure means that the women could have the most successful season while the men had their worst, and the men would still make more money. Yet this issue still presents itself today; the women’s team was granted a new contract, but the wage gap was not completely filled by this action.

 

“We’re not being greedy, we’re just fighting for what’s right,” Rebecca Sauerbrunn, one of the players on the women’s team, explained. “Our contributions to the Federation should be seen as equal to what the men have done.”

 

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said goalkeeper Hope Solo, “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, yet the men’s players get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

 

More than a year after filing a wage discrimination complaint, the U.S. women’s national soccer team has agreed to a new set of wages in a negotiated agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation. The wages have been increased; however, they are still not equal to the men’s wages. Therefore even with the new bonus structure the women could have the most successful season while the men had their worst, and the men would still make more money. The new contract will  not truely solve the problem inequity. So many of the women feel the Soccer Federation is attempting to silence the women’s protests in order improve their reputation.

 

“If the women national team generates the same amount of income as the men’s team, they definitely deserve the same amount of money or even more,” Zach Daudet, a varsity soccer player for Clairemont High School, commented.

 

“It is unfair and we need to do something about it,” Another varsity soccer player, Alexa Gonzalez, shared her input on the situation.

 

“Absolutely unfair. Women need to be treated with respect.  This is yet another example of how women are undervalued. Coaches in high school are not pain based on gender.  Athletes should be treated and valued as the athletes they are. Their efforts and dedication representing their team, their country should be valued and respected equally with men,” said Lori Schmersal, the girls volleyball and softball coach at Clairemont High School, “what message are we sending young women as they dream to be a USA athlete or have a desire to pursue athletics at the next level.  We cannot expect young women to believe in themselves, to want to achieve more, if they are not valued for what they do equally with male athletes.”

 

Wage gaps between genders can be found in almost every career field that exists. On average, women make 77 cents to every dollar that a man makes. In addition to this, African American women make 64 cents and Hispanic women make 56 cents to every dollar of a white man. Many women of all different colors and careers are fighting for equal pay. And with public figures such as Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Rebecca Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe using their platforms as athletes to speak up about the issue, women can only hope this problem will keep being addressed and brought into light until the wage gaps have been filled. This fight will continue; equal pay for equal play.

 

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