A divisive barrier in the US soccer scene finally came down. After years of debate and conflict, the USSF finally reached a verdict on the gender pay gap within the sport. The federation offered both the women and men identical national team contracts.
This means that just a year after the USWNT filed lawsuits fighting for equal pay compensation, the team got its wish.
A major argument amongst those debating the issue was the USWNT’s far superior performance to the men’s team. While the women won multiple world cups and established themselves as a powerhouse, the men remained lackluster in comparison.
The low of the men’s team came in 2018 when the team failed to qualify for the World Cup. On the other hand, the women won the 2019 tournament.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe often pointed this out in her fight for equal pay between the two teams.
“Meanwhile, we’ve won, you know, two World Cups. We’ve won nearly every friendly that we’ve played in [and] won all the tournaments. We’ve been very successful, both, you know, commercially marketing-wise, sponsorships and branding and all of that, and obviously been very successful on the field.
And to get paid, you know, about the same dollar for dollar amount [as the men], that’s sort of at the heart of pay inequity and gender discrimination we feel.”Megan Rapinoe
Now with the contract offer, Rapinoe finally achieved her goal.
At 36-years-old, she even considered retiring just last month. Fortunately for USWNT fans, she still plays and finally can see her aspirations come true for herself and her team.
For years, the large disparity between men’s and women’s prize payouts in tournaments was the main reason for the pay difference. In many cases, it made sense. Men’s teams had bigger followings, so their tournaments earned more money.
However, the women outperformed the US men in nearly all international tournaments. Now, the team can rest in its fight for equal pay as it continues its dominance on the international stage.