Gender Discrimination in Soccer

WITI News Staff

July 14, 2019

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By Sophia Schneidman

On July 7, 2019, with a final score of 2-0, the U.S. women's soccer team beat out the Netherlands to take their fourth World Cup victory. This victory was a massive moment in sports across the globe. The semi-finals against Great Britain drew 11.7 million viewers, making the game the most-watched TV broadcast in the U.K. this year.

In response to the huge win for the U.S.A., many notable viewers showed their support.

Ellen DeGeneres wrote, "The U.S. women's soccer team are the world champions! I'm so happy. These women are the best of what our country represents. You're welcome on my show any time."

President Barack Obama also showed his support by tweeting, "Yes! Fourth star. Back to back. Congrats to the record breakers on the @USWNT, an incredible team that's always pushing themselves - and the rest of us - to be even better. Love this team."

However, this year's win comes with a harsh dose of reality. Less than three months ago, more than two dozen members of the U.S. women's national team filed suit against the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, claiming they were not paid equally to their male counterparts. Among those to file the claim included Alex Morgan and the recipient of the golden boot, Megan Rapinoe.

In response to the lawsuit, Snoop Dogg took to Instagram to share his support for the strong women that are part of the U.S. women's national team. In the video Snoop shared, he states that, "The sorry a$% fu$%^&*! men from the U.S. soccer team, everyone's sh%#, ain't ever gonna win sh%#, can't even get out the fu$%^&*! first round. Man, pay them ladies, man. Pay them girls what they worth."

According to an article in The New York Times, from 2016 to 2018 women's soccer in the U.S. generated nearly $1 million more in revenue than men's soccer. (Women $50.8 million, men $49.9 million.)

Despite the data, according to the Times, the prize money for this year's Women's World Cup is $30 million, which is just a small fraction - less than ten percent! - of the 2018 Men's World Cup's prize money of $400 million.

In support of the U.S. Women's national team, following their win on July 7, the crowd in France's Stade de Lyon broke out into a chant yelling, "Equal Pay!" I joined in on the chant, only from my living room in London.

As a young woman myself, I am deeply frustrated by the pay gap that still exists today. As a young girl, I was taught that I could do anything and be anything. The young women on the U.S. women's national soccer team have, for the fourth consecutive time, followed their dream to the World Cup stage. However, how can these women continue to support themselves and their families while doing what they love if the organization that represents them chooses not to equally compensate their star athletes?

Work Cited

DeSantis, Rachel. "Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres & More Celebs React to USWNT's World Cup Victory - and Call for Equal Pay.", 7 July 2019

Gregory, Sean. "Many Wanted Team USA to Apologize or Fail. They Did Neither." Time, Time, 7 July 2019

Rollins, Khadice. "Alex Morgan Has the USWNT's Locker Room Turned Up.", 7 July 2019

Sacks, Brianna. "The World Cup Crowd Started Chanting ‘Equal Pay' Right After The US Women Won." BuzzFeed News, 7 July 2019, world-cup-equal-pay-reaction.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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