I’m not going to lie, watching Allie Long of the U.S. Women’s National Team eat a page of the team’s ongoing equal pay lawsuit Wednesday on Instagram was probably the best thing I’ll see all week.

The World Cup-winning national team is still in a celebration fervor after dispatching the Netherlands on Sunday. It had only been three days since Rose Lavelle scored the winning goal to help her team clinch its fourth World Cup win, but the party was still going strong.

The women’s soccer team roared through New York City’s Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday for a ticker-tape parade, the players having exchanged bottles of water for $300 bottles of “Ace of Spades” champagne.

The scene online was chaotic and mesmerizing. World Cup Golden Ball winner and overall fearless warrior Megan Rapinoe was pouring champagne into her teammate’s mouths and then handing the bottles over to spectators. Aspiring girls soccer phenoms held up adoring signs, confetti rained down on the players and car horns honked while construction scenes came alive to cheer on the champs.

Behind the scenes, Ashlyn Harris was tearing up the USWNT’s lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to use as confetti. Long grabbed hold of a page, looked into the camera and said, “Pay us,” before swallowing it.

It was a silly moment juxtaposing a serious time for the world’s soccer federations. In the USWNT’s case, it is suing the governing body for wage disparity with the national men’s team. Filed in March by all 28 members of the team, the suit shined more light on the monstrous pay gap between the USWNT and the USMNT three months before the women’s team went on to defend their World Cup title.

The USWNT has been demanding equal pay since it won the 2015 World Cup. In 2017, the team agreed to a collective bargaining agreement that brought them higher pay and better working conditions. Equal pay was still left off the table. The lawsuit filed in March has been ongoing, with the USWNT’s recent championship likely the final straw for a USSF with no more answers.

For context on the wage gap between the two national teams, the USWNT makes approximately $5,000 per game in comparison to $13,000 per game for the USMNT. The prize money for the 2018 men’s tournament was $400 million. This year, the women’s prize was $30 million.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup, which saw record-setting TV ratings around the world, will likely go down as the turning point in the fight for equal pay in international soccer. Those ratings will translate into dollars, a revenue stream of equal pay that naysayers have long doubted.

The Wall Street Journal found last month that “in the three years after the (USWNT) won the 2015 World Cup, U.S. women’s games generated more total revenue than U.S. men’s games.”

With that in mind and the recent win by the USWNT, it was no surprise that the clamor for “equal pay” was loudly voiced when USSF President Carlos Cordeiro took the stage Wednesday for the team ceremony. His words were drowned out by the chants, making it clear what the people want.

It doesn’t matter that the USMNT stinks up the joint year after year. It doesn’t matter that the USWNT has won four World Cups. What matters is this – the USSF has offered to double the women’s team salary, and it would still be just a fraction of the men’s salary.

It’s a problem. Fix it.

(Send comments or questions to zack@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @zacknally)

(4) comments

David Collins

No mention of what the individual players actually earn. Intentionally omitted?? Just can not feel sympathetic for these well off players that are now playing the victim card. Their claim to fame is playing a sport. Athletes salaries are astronomical these days and for no good reason other than the product endorsement cash they attract. $ 100.00 plus dollar shoes and other like nonsense that wannabes will lie, cheat, steal and yes kill to acquire. Never understood the allure of all this. Don’t like what you are paid, get a different job.

Core Sounder

Am not sure but just maybe the following has a lot to do with men getting paid more than women in sports; The men still pull the World Cup money wagon. The men's World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women's World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.

Sons of Liberty

I love the game of soccer and I have previously been a huge supporter of women's soccer! What is taking place now is not in the spirit of the game. When the USWNT played England they celebrated a goal by mocking drinking English tea. What happened to winning and losing with class? These women have none and are not the role models I want my daughters looking up to! The men are payed more because the commercial side is much more lucrative, just the facts. The wealthiest clubs around the word (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man U, etc) make billions of dollars a year off of the commercial side because of Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Pogba and others (all male) not Rapinoe or Morgan (both female). Soccer is a beautiful game when played well by both men and women but we have to face the fact the men's game is more enjoyable to watch. Their skills, fitness, speed, agility and tactics are far superior to any product the women can deliver. I am all for equal pay for for equal work but the men's and women's game are just not comparable or equal for that matter. To support my last claim just look at attendance to matches...there is no comparison.

Bravo

If you don't like the pay at your job find a different job. A car salesman that sells Chevys in Fords cannot expect to make the same as the Lexus dealer down the road.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.