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USWNT Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Soccer In Fight For Equal Pay

 

If this were, say, the WNBA, I'd write it off as ridiculous whining, given how much less interest (i.e. fan revenue) there is in the WNBA compared to the NBA. In that kind of scenario, a pay disparity makes sense to me.

 

But women's soccer is not only objectively superior to men's soccer, it actually made more money last year, right (right?)? I that's the case, they should definitely be making at least as much, if not more moolah than the men.

 

:eek:

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USWNT is crazy good. They definitely deserve at least equal pay.

Agreed. It's straight up better product, and that is not my well-worn hatred of men's soccer talking there, it's just a fact.

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I like a challenge. Let's see if I can justify this.

 

As a matter of economics, male players' time is indeed worth more even if they are not as popular and even if they do not pull in as much money. Men have many leagues around the world to compete within that pay large amounts of money. There are no true major women's soccer leagues, and the leagues that do exist suffer from miserable attendance, struggle to stay afloat, and frequently disband. Women soccer players do not suffer the economic losses and potential economic losses (injury) that men face when they play for a national team.

 

By competing for the national team, men, particularly the stars, take on a much higher relative hardship than the women. They must be enticed to join, so their pay should be higher.

 

Furthermore, wages are not set based only on money coming in, but also on the opportunities the worker would have if they decided to forgo the job. In effect, your boss is more inclined to give you a raise if the shop down the street just offered you a higher-paying position than if you asked for a raise purely out of the kindness of his heart.

 

The women's national team essentially has a monopoly on women's soccer because there is little market for the sport beyond national play. Therefore, the women have no choice but to continue playing for their pittance or making themselves irrelevant within the sport.

 

And that is why it's justifiable that the women should earn less :pimp:

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The women brought in more money last year, but that was a Woman's World Cup year. Do they pull in more money in years where they don't hold the one event that people actually care about in their sport? I really don't know, but just using last years data is incomplete. They'd need to use a 4 year window for each international cycle to determine who actually makes more money.

 

Although it does make some sense that women could generate more money. As has been pointed out, there are other options for men's soccer fans. If you like mens soccer and want to buy a soccer jersey, you have many, many options. If you want to buy a womans soccer jersey, it's gonna be a US National team jersey.

 

As for what Poe said, it is true that men have more options and more to lose. But remember, these are American mens soccer players. Barcelona and Real Madrid aren't knocking these guys doors down for the most part either.

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As for what Poe said, it is true that men have more options and more to lose. But remember, these are American mens soccer players. Barcelona and Real Madrid aren't knocking these guys doors down for the most part either.

 

True enough. But some of these guys like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey still have multi-million dollar contracts with MLS. The median in that league was $110,000 last year and most of the guys who qualify for the national team will be above that average. Not rich, but definitely jobs worth keeping. It's a stable league with a modest but sustaining television contract.

 

Comparatively, even a household name like Hope Solo only makes about $65,000 a year from her salary. The current top women's soccer league has only been around for three seasons. The top league before that folded after only three seasons itself. The women NEED the income from the national team. Their options are narrowed.

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Soccer guy here...

 

Women's team makes more profit for the program and wins more (even if it is against lesser competition). So yeah, I think they deserve to make more money.

 

The reality of the situation is that the men's team players make much more money on their club teams. If you payed them what the women make the top players wouldn't feel it is worth the risk (injury, time loss from your club team, etc). The women's team doesn't have that leverage because the national team is their payday.

 

In a perfect world, playing for your country should be honor in itself (like the Olympics).

 

For the record, there are a lot of USMNT players that do play in the top leagues around the world including Germany, England, and Mexico. Many of the MLS players have the option of playing in these leagues but choose not to because the MLS is actually becoming a decent, second tier league so players are beginning to no longer see the benefits of playing abroad.

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Guest El Chalupacabra
Comparatively, even a household name like Hope Solo only makes about $65,000 a year from her salary.

 

 

Hope Solo.

 

I had to google this to make sure this wasn't a Star Wars reference.

 

I am all for equal pay when it's apples to apples, the same job, and if everyone is working for the same company or organization. I'm unclear if the men's league and women's league are even the same company. If not, then that isn't apples to apples.

 

But let's not pretend someone who plays a sport for a living and still makes $65k/year is living in poverty! Seriously! On one hand, capitalism is great, and I don't think there should be any limits on what athletes make. If they can negotiate it, and someone is willing to pay it, great. But on the other hand, I don't worship athletes. At all. And the fact an athlete can potentially make $ millions is sort of repugnant to me, on a personal level.

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But let's not pretend someone who plays a sport for a living and still makes $65k/year is living in poverty! Seriously!

 

My point was that she's not at the bottom end of the spectrum. She's near the top. She's got enough star power to release an autobiography, make the talk show circuit, show up on national news on many occasions (not always for good reason), and be invited onto Dancing With the Stars. Yet she pulls in what can only be called a fairly good middle class income from her job. A job, I'll remind you, that won't last much longer.

 

Most women soccer players make significantly less than her. They have no income from endorsements or anything else.

 

You also seem to be readying for a rant on a position that I'm not really defending (though, frankly, I don't see why players shouldn't make a huge portion of the money earned off their sweat since they ARE the product).

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Don't worry. Rant is over. And really, it was just a comment on my part, and it wasn't really directed at you or anyone in particular. Nor am I saying I even disagree with you. It's just a general observation on my part.

 

But since you expanded a bit on your position, here's mine, and again, to no one in particular. I personally don't value the "job" any athlete, male or female does, anyway. They play a game for a living. Unlike most people who go to school to learn a profession, or go straight into the work force and learn a trade, athletes devote their time training to kick or throw a ball around. Big deal. It's like the old saying goes: you are paid what you are worth. If they can negotiate a salary that gives them millions, then great. If they can't, then they have to decide if making a living doing something that pays the bills is more important than playing a sport for a living. The point is, that's their responsibility to have a back up career after their sports career comes to an end. Why is it society's job to worry about how retired athletes will get by, after their career is over? I have never understood this idea that just because someone is a pro athlete, or a musical or performing artist for that matter, and they gain some measure of fame, that it should somehow automatically translate to being entitled to make $ millions.

 

With respect to the women soccer players specifically, it must be remembered that at least in the US, Women's soccer is no where near the money maker other pro sports are, so that accounts for their salaries being what they are. If\when women's soccer becomes more popular, you can bet that salaries will rise, to retain the talent. Not everything is necessarily a conspiracy.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

It seems to me, you, for one.

 

 

 

Yet she pulls in what can only be called a fairly good middle class income from her job. A job, I'll remind you, that won't last much longer.

Why bring up Hope Solo's income, and the idea she may not be a soccer player for much longer, if the intent is not to have us think about what will happen to her, and other soccer players, after their careers are over? Why is that relevant to you?

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But women's soccer is not only objectively superior to men's soccer, it actually made more money last year, right (right?)? I that's the case, they should definitely be making at least as much, if not more moolah than the men.

 

:eek:

It was a world cup year pong, so a bit of an apples/oranges comparison. You'd have to compare the men's world cup year in 2014. Also, unlike the men's game, the US women's team has a much larger world market share- only a handful of countries actually care about the women's game outside the US (in a way, it's like the inverse of the men's game). So a female player could have a much lower fair market value while still generating more revenue than a male player.

 

I don't particularly care what they get paid, more or less, whatever- but I will say this, and maybe this makes me a giant as-hole, but I can't take someone like Hope Solo seriously after those ridiculous nude photos leaked out on the internet.

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Hope Solo is batshit crazy. It's unfortunate that she's such a good goalkeeper.

 

The women's team sells out regularly for home games. They get televised on ESPN and Fox Sports. Not just in a World Cup year. It's kind of difficult to split jersey sales out because they use the same designs other than the women's jersey having 3 stars for 3 World Cups, although I did intentionally get a women's jersey because they usually fit better since I'm petite. The top women's league in the world (talent-wise) is here in the US.

 

World Cup years do generally generate more merchandise sales than other years, that much is true. But the USWNT consistently pulls crowds every year, and the new league isn't doing too poorly. They picked some better cities this time around and in some cases aligned them with MLS teams, which helps marketing.

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I can't even.

 

It's astounding to me when a light shines on a situation in which one entire group of persons is being paid less than everyone else and NOTHING is done about it immediately. There is absolutely no shame.

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Sure, I'm not disputing any of that Destiny, I'm just saying a more appropriate comparison would be men's vs. women's world cup years, if the claim is that women generate more revenue based on 2015.

 

Besides, that's only a minor point. The more important one is that the US women's team happens to be particularly dominant, although in a substantially smaller world market than the men's game. Few countries outside the US actually care about the women's game. So the US team finds itself in sort of a big fish in a little pond phenomenon. This explains why a female player can generate more revenue per capita than an average male player, and yet still have a smaller fair market value than a male player. It's just simple economics, nothing nefarious here.

 

Here's an analogy that might help- some college football teams generate a sh-t ton of revenue and ticket sales, and basically monopolize the local sports tradition, I'm thinking certain Big 10, SEC teams, etc. These teams might even generate more revenue than an awful NFL team that doesn't sell out games (not many of those, but there are a couple). That being said, your average player on that college team is always going to be worth less than an average player on even the worst NFL team. That average college player probably won't even make the NFL in all likelihood. It's the same principle at work here. Again, there's nothing nefarious about it.

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Again, there's nothing nefarious about it.

 

Well, I disagree with nothing nefarious going on at the college ranks.

 

That's a system that not only colludes with each other to deny fair market value to their labor that's worth billions (and in the case of football regularly results in brain damage), but goes that extra mile to make rules preventing that labor from earning outside income or even hiring outside advisers (what other part of college actively forbids preparing for your future career?). I could almost live with their not paying the players, but it's downright ridiculous that the players can't pick up endorsements, sell their own signature, hire agents, or even accept "gifts" from boosters.

 

It's a system designed to keep poor kids poor, and there really should be a law.

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