The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Needs To Be Paid As Much As The Men’s

It was a historic moment today, July 10, when for the first time in history, a women's team -- the U.S. Women's Soccer Team -- was honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City. Now, let's honor them in an even more important way -- with equal pay! When the U.S. Women's Soccer Team took first place, winning the World Cup on July 5, America went wild! America went bananas to such an extent that 25.4 million people watched the final game, beating the men's World Cup viewership. In fact, it was the most-watched soccer event in U.S. history! So, if that's true -- the American public loves women's soccer and our team is the best in the world -- why do the players earn nearly 40 times less than male team players?! Talk about inequality!

World Cup Pay Gap
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Image Credit: Getty

Our national champs – the women who made our hearts burst with pride in front of the entire world – are paid even worse than the typical American female worker, who earns 77 cents on the dollar earned by a man. Upset? Now, hear more about women’s versus men’s soccer pay inequality: the men’s winning World Cup team had total earnings of $575 million, while the women’s team was paid a measly $15 million.

Furthermore, the average salary in the U.S. men’s soccer league is $305,000, while for the women, it’s just $14,000! The prize money for the women’s soccer team this year is $2 million. However, the men’s team, which didn’t even make it to the FIFA World Cup finals in 2014, earned $9 million! Meanwhile, the winning team, Germany, was rewarded with $35 million! Soccer fans are justifiably furious about this huge pay gap:

Soccer Winnings Are Unfair: Women Should Be Paid & Win The Same Amount As Men

Of course, soccer isn’t the only sport paying female athletes substantially less than men. The Women’s Open offers $4.5 million in prize money to female golfers, but the recent U.S. Men’s Open paid $10 million in winnings to men. Men’s World Cup cricket handed out $3.975 million in winnings while the winning female World Cup cricket team made just $75,000.

Thankfully, the news on pay parity in sports is not all bad. A report by the BBC in 2014 revealed that out of 35 sports paying prize money, 25 do pay equally and just 10 don’t.

Tennis has been a huge success in ending the pay gap — hooray! The U.S. and French Opens, as well as Wimbledon and more Grand Slam tournaments, all reward equal prize money to women and men. That wasn’t the result of any fairy godmother’s actions. Female players, including the legendary Billie Jean King and Venus Williams, fought long and hard for many years to get equal prize money for women.

Now, it’s time to pony up dollars for female soccer players. The U.S. women’s team has proven they can pull huge ratings, and millions of young women and girls are now dedicated soccer players. It’s time for sponsors and teams to support our female athletes with salaries and prize money that equal guys’!

Do you agree, HollywoodLifers? Should women’s teams earn equal money? Let me know!

— Bonnie Fuller

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