Equality for the Women’s National Team

The United States Women’s National Team for soccer has finally received equal payment and getting the same salaries as the Men’s National Team.

This is the Logo for the USWNT and the USMNT.

United States Soccer Federation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This is the Logo for the USWNT and the USMNT.

Alex Morgan was one of the 5 people on the USWNT who started this fight to get equal pay.

After many years of fighting with the U.S. Soccer Federation the Women’s National Team for soccer has finally reached a goal that they have been logging to have for quite some time. They are finally getting paid as much as the men are. The decision to fight for equal pay started back in 2016, when five high-profile USWNT players—Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd—filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and alleged unequal pay between the men and women’s teams. They should have just been paid equally from the get-go because the equal pay act clearly states that men and women in the workplace should be getting paid the same if their jobs are almost identical.

Same Game. Same Ball. Payment should have been equal from the start.

The USWNT (United States Women’s National Team) is well known worldwide. After winning the first World Cup in History for Women’s Soccer in 1991 this team put their name on the map. They also won the World Cup in 1999 and back-to-back times in 2015 and 2019 (the most recent World Cup). The USWNT definitely works hard at everything they do, and they also put all their time and energy into soccer to help encourage people to continue to play soccer for future generations. Some would say that time is money. So, it makes you wonder if the USWNT is putting all this time and effort in for this country why would not get paid the same. Eva Fields, a Goalie for the Lafayette High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team, had strong opinions about the fact that women were not getting paid the same as men for the National Team. “They deserve equal pay!” she said.

Defender for the LHS girls soccer team Meggie Rogers spends every moment in practice and out of practice to be the best soccer player she can become.

Throughout history, most sports started with only men as participants. It has long been seen as unfit for women to be doing any type of sport, especially one like soccer. Only in 1985 was a National Team for Women’s Soccer formed; this was 100 years after the Men’s National Soccer team was first formed in 1885.

The Equity Pay Act was signed on June 10th of 1963 and it clearly states that employers who willfully violate it may face fines of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to six months. Employees who have faced pay discrimination based on their sex are also entitled to their lost wages and equitable relief. Clearly the U.S. soccer federation was aware of this, and it is even our constitutional right to be treated equally and genders’, race, and ethnicity should not be a factor in any of it.

Goalie Eva fields for the LHS girls soccer team continues to work hard in every practice all of the time. (Lexi King)

Since 2015 the USWNT has generated over 50 million dollars in revenue after winning the world cup. The men’s national team only generated 2.6 million dollars since 2015. The numbers clearly show that the USWNT is more of an icon based on how they do in tournaments and games then the Men’s National Team. To paint a picture in a typical game a player on the Men’s National Team was making close to 14,000 dollars per game. The Women’s National team was only receiving about 4,000 dollars per game. That is only about a 7/2 ratio. It truly is baffling: why would a team be paid more when that technically isn’t allowed, and moreover they aren’t as good as the Women’s National Team? The USWNT also plays more games per year then the USWMT, which means that the Men’s National Team is getting paid more for doing less. This just wasn’t fair, and it should not have taken 6 years to receive equal payment. LHS senior Sydney King doesn’t think gender should have been a factor to get equal payment. “It’s the same game!” she said.

Finally, the moment many of the USWNT players had been waiting for so long arrived on February 22, 2022. They reached a $24 million settlement agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation, and they will be getting an equal payment rate going forward in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.

This is a huge milestone for the Women’s National Team because which came only because of a lot of commitment and determination on their part. This team truly is unstoppable, and they are the perfect example that even when things get hard you should never give up on what should be your give right.