As many people have likely heard, the U.S. Women's national soccer team has had a contentious relationship with their governing body, U.S. Soccer. Yesterday, a few members of the women's team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer for wage discrimination.
Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn -- five of the most recognizable members of the women's national team -- filed the lawsuit, alleging that U.S. Soccer pays the woman significantly less than the men despite the fact that the women put in the same amount of work and make the same sacrifices as the men. In addition, the women have clearly been more successful on the national stage than the men. The women have won three World Cups, while the men haven't ever finished better than third place at the World Cup (which came back in 1930).
Some startling figures were provided showing the gulf in pay between the men and women. The men are paid $5,000 per game, while the women are paid $3,600. The bonus for winning a game nets a member of the men's team more than $8,000, while a member of the women's team only nets $1,350 for a win.
It's clear that the men and women are being treated differently on the payroll by U.S. Soccer, so it will be very interesting to see where this lawsuit goes. Clearly the women are providing U.S. Soccer with significant financial and on-the-field success, so hopefully something changes so that the women are treated equally to the men.
Source: New York Times, "Top Female Players Accuse U.S. Soccer of Wage Discrimination," Andrew Das, March 31, 2016