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Equal Play. Equal Pay. The US Soccer Women's National Team is Playing a Whole New Game

Equal Play. Equal Pay. -

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge soccer – or futbol as my people call it – fan. Often times I’m not certain of the rules or what the cards mean and I still can’t figure out how the timing of the game actually functions. Nevertheless when the time for the women’s world cup games came around, I was glued to my TV watching to see how far my imaginary girlfriend Hope Solo would advance.

Let me shine a little light on this one.

When it comes to sports I cannot play offense to save my life. I tried it once and it was awful. But what I can do is defend the shit out of almost anything. Hope Solo is not only incredibly beautiful and talented, I feel she is a kindred spirit of defense. That’s why I like her so much and why I so enjoy watching her stop goals time and time again.

Hope not only plays for the National Team but also for the Seattle Reign which I take as another sign of our love because my favorite football team is housed in Seattle. Go Hawks, Go!

So yes, Hope and I have an invisible tie and thus when she and the USWNT won the gold cup last year I was elated. Imagine my surprise to find that my baby girl, Hope, and the rest of her incredibly talented and hard working team earned a significantly less amount of money than their male counterparts.

Men get paid more just to show up than we get paid to win major championships. – Hope Solo

U.S. Soccer is the governing body for soccer in America and it is that body that is in charge of paying athletes. On Wednesday of last week 5 players from USWNT filed a federal complaint against U.S Soccer for wage discrimination. This group of women includes Hope Solo, team captains Carli Lloyd & Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe. We are literally talking about the top ranked soccer players in the country, women who have competed in the Olympics, taking on a company that has the nerve to pay them as little as 40% of what players on the Men’s National Team would make in a year.

How big is a 40% gap?

Tim Howard is the goalie for USMNT. The last time he and his team came close to winning a world cup none of us on this website were born. Neither were our parents. Do you know how much money he made in 2015? 2.6 million dollars.

Hope Solo is a three time world cup champion. She plays the same position as Tim Howard except her team actually wins major championships including four from the Olympics. She made 600 hundred thousand dollars in 2015, the SAME YEAR USNWT won their THIRD world cup.

These paychecks are not even in the same stratosphere. If these paychecks were people they wouldn’t even talk to each other at a party.

Why is it that civilization has come so far and yet in all corners there are still women being underpaid for their work. The claim of U.S. Soccer is that men’s soccer still attracts more viewers and therefore deserves more money. If that’s true then the men’s team should be compelled to give some of their earnings to the hardcore fans that have been sitting through years of losses.

This is a problem that defies logic. Pay women their fair share. They are doing the exact same job and they’re performing better. Equal pay for equal play. Why is this even something that needs to be discussed?

The Women’s National Team has earned incredible success over the years. With that has come a responsibility to be the leading voice on this issue. We have and entire generation following us to look after, a generation that doesn’t yet have a voice. – Megan Rapinoe

I am gobsmacked that women must still fight two fights at once. They must do their job better than the best and they must then defend their right to be given the money they’ve already earned. Alas, this is simply a fact of life. Not even professional athletes can escape the shadows of history. This is why feminism/womanism/mujeristaism is still so important. We must continue to support those in the fight to create equality and we must strike up battles of our own until we can all rest at ease knowing that our work is valued the same as everyone else’s.

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Equal Play. Equal Pay. -

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