Emmy Griffin / February 24, 2022

U.S. Soccer Caves Over ‘Equal Pay’

It’s not really a victory for women’s sports, it’s just a successful use of the victimology doctrine.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (WNT) has a storied history of being the best in the world. It’s a tradition that these amazing athletes have maintained for decades. Generations of young girl athletes have looked up to these professional players as pioneers in the most popular women’s sport in terms of viewership globally.

However, since about 2016, the WNT has, like many other sports teams, joined the activist bandwagon. You have powerhouse midfielder Megan Rapinoe as the ringleader of causes like supporting BLM and forcing the rest of the team to pay homage to its fallacious premises. Then you have Alex Morgan, a striker, and Rapinoe both claiming victory over their recent legal win against the Unites States Soccer Federation (USSF) regarding compensation. This is strictly about the WNT and not the individual clubs for which these women play.

The court battle presented by these players was based on the widespread idea in women’s sports that female athletes don’t get paid as much as men do. There are many intricate pieces that factor into the seeming disparity such as viewership and contractual differences.

For the WNT, its viewership was 22% higher in 2019 than the men’s World Cup finals in 2018. The WNT is a winning team compared to the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (MNT), which failed to qualify for the World Cup last time around and has yet to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Yet the men’s side still makes more — or so it seems — between bonuses and salary. Therefore the women felt justified in suing the USSF for gender-based discrimination.

But the devil is in the details.

The women’s claim is false mainly because of the contractual differences between the WNT and the MNT. The men are pay-to-play. This means that if they don’t get playing time on the field, they don’t get paid. The women have no such stipulation. They are all paid a base salary regardless of whether or not they get playing time, plus whatever bonuses they earn.

Then there are the actual numbers. Since the lawsuit was filed in 2019, the women’s team has actually made more than the men’s team. The case was originally thrown out because of this very fact. But as former USSF President Carlos Cordeiro points out, the women have actually made more than the men for quite some time. “Over the past decade,” he says, “U.S. Soccer has paid our Women’s National Team more than our Men’s National Team. From 2010 through 2018, U.S. Soccer paid our women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses, and we paid our men $26.4 million.”

In spite of all this evidence, the USSF settled with the WNT, and Rapinoe and Morgan are claiming victory. They assert that there will now be equal pay for all moving forward and that the relationship between the USSF and WNT is now restored.

In the end, it really isn’t a victory for women because the WNT baselessly used victimhood as a weapon. How are we ever going to stand on our own two feet with any semblance of pride if our women athletes cave to the premise of sexism and victimhood? It’s a trap from which they won’t ever get out.

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