The US Women's Soccer Team Gets Paid What?

Congratulations to the US Women on winning the World Cup! This win is about so much more than bragging rights. The attention being showered on the team right now means some major issues are getting some major attention.

Pay equity is back in the spotlight after the US Women’s team took home only $2 million for their win this year. So, for your next friendly debate: Should women soccer players get paid the same as men?

Denise McAllister at The Federalist seems more than a little upset about all of this ‘whining.’ She holds nothing back in her piece Women’s Soccer Doesn’t Deserve Equal Pay. Cut through all of the anger and her key takeaways are women don’t deserve equal pay for two reasons: a) women don’t attract the same audience as men, and b) women’s sports are not of the same quality as men’s.

What do you think?

For brevity’s sake, let’s talk purely about the purse here. How can the 2015 World Cup champs bring home $7 million less in prize money than the US men did last year, where they didn’t even make it to the quarterfinals?

ESPN gives some numbers, but not what I need to help me determine whether the financials make sense. Is it purely a question of economics or is there more at play? (FIFA’s credibility is pretty low, what with a strong history of sexism, including the artificial turf lawsuit and leadership’s penchant for pretty female players.)

What is FIFA’s revenue for the Women’s World Cup, and what’s the worldwide viewership for the Women’s World Cup? And what is it for the men?

This Washington Post piece by Drew Harwell doesn’t give me those answers, but it does provide a great read on the looming question here: if this was the most watched soccer match in US history, where were all the television sponsors with their deep pockets?

Now, thanks to Mr. Harwell, I can also better understand why we are where we are, and why I should believe that things will improve.

A few other neat things from the Post piece: Nike has started selling jerseys for the US women’s team in men’s sizes, and video game maker EA Sports plans to include a few women’s teams in FIFA 16. And even if companies weren’t ponying up the cash for game-time advertising spots, at least now the World Cup win should bring in lots of additional endorsement deals for Carli, Abby, and team.

If you are in NYC, check out the ticker tape parade on Friday, and share your dreams with the team using the hashtag #SheBelieves.

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