After a thrilling month of competition, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team rose above the Netherlands with a 2- 1 victory in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 final to record its second consecutive World Cup and fourth in total – making it the most successful women’s team in history. This dominating run of matches led by Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Alyssa Naeher captivated the world, but the women were competing for something much bigger – equal pay.
Since the beginning of televised sports, male athletes have dominated the fields in popularity, which has led to massive salary upticks. However, the discrepancy between the salaries of men and women have become more evident over the years, especially in the U.S. Soccer Federation and the women’s national team wants to change that. Female soccer players in the federation currently earn $4,950 a game ($99,000 annually), significantly less than their male counterparts who earn $13,166 every game ($263,320 annually). Male players are also paid a bonus of $55,000 for making into a world cup team, which is $40,000 more than women.
The U.S. Soccer Federation claims that the total revenue is bundled from sponsorship and broadcast sales, making the difference hard to tell. However, from 2016 to 2018, national women’s games brought in $50.8 million in revenue while men’s generated $49.9 million. With over 1 billion people tuning in to watch this past World Cup, the U.S. Women’s Team has filed a lawsuit against the federation to combat gender-based wage discrimination while advocating for equal pay and opportunity for women across all athletic divisions.