A gap in the playing field

Brendan Donaldson, staff writer

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The women of the Women’s U.S. soccer team feel that they are underpaid compared to the amount that the men’s team is paid, and even made their case on 60 Minutes in 2016 which drew attention to the topic of the wage gap.

In 2017 there was an agreement where the Federation increased the team’s pay, bettered their hotel and travel accommodations, and reimbursed them for the years they were underpaid.

According to The Guardian.com,  “The men’s team, whose players usually draw the bulk of their income from professional clubs, gets mostly bonus money.”

“Equal work” is not exactly accurate if the acknowledgement that the men’s team faces greater competition to make the roster and competition in order to win. They draw higher ratings, higher attendance, and generate more revenue over a four-year cycle than the women’s team.

However, the women’s argument may still be valid.

According to the women’s lawyers, they refuse to share their collective bargaining demands, but they are asking for equal pay for equal work, which is what the law requires if they actually put in the same amount of work, effort, and time into their sport as the men do.

Another reason that this seemingly large “wage gap” exists could be the amount of viewer and fans of each genders teams.

“The guys seem to get more views, more tv ratings, and sponsors. Athletes should play the game because they want to play and make that their career and not base it off what they are getting paid,” said Max Ricci a sophomore player on the junior varsity soccer team.

This is not a new issue either, this has been going on for over two years.

Five women originally charged the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) of wage discrimination back in 2016. In 2017, they did not get equal pay, but they did get a significant raise, with some of the players getting over $300,000.

This does not cure or fix exactly what the players wanted, but it was a step in the right direction.

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), an organization who has been accused multiple times of sexism toward players, needs to come up with a proposition.

“I always see just men’s soccer on tv and not very often do I see women’s so I think that they may have an issue with where they are televising their games or it could just be sexism inside of FIFA,” said Jackson Rea, a sophomore.

There may not be lots of improvement on this until it is brought up again with more evidence and more people fighting this “battle” for equal pay for men and women’s soccer.

This is still an ongoing issue, but it may take more time even after more players and staff come forward and express how they feel about the gap and how the pay should be equal.

“I think that no matter if they are in the same organization or not, if they are doing the same about of work they should get paid the same no matter what gender they are,” said Angie Braude.

A few possible reasons that these gaps exist could always be caused by the head of the organization or the individuals in charge.

These types of gaps have a higher chance of disrupting the public view and finding issues within corporations.

This controversy is a large part of the argument for unequal pay between the genders.

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