Equal Play = Equal Pay

Many US women soccer players shared this image on social media to boost awareness towards their fight for equality.

Many US women soccer players shared this image on social media to boost awareness towards their fight for equality.

Allie Ryan, Editor

Recently, the U.S. Women’s National soccer team sparked up a lawsuit claiming “gross disparity” of wages for female soccer players. Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the entire team. They are represented by Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer who represented Tom Brady in court over the “Deflategate” scandal.

Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much.”

— Alex Morgan

“This is the strongest case of discrimination against women athletes in violation of law that I have ever seen,” Kessler said in a statement, via The New York Times.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” USWNT goalie Hope Solo told The Times, “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the USMNT get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

Though female players can earn salaries of as much as $72,000 a year, the issue is over disparities in appearance fees, per diems, and, in particular, bonuses. A member of the men’s national team earns $5,000 for a loss in a friendly match and as much as $17,625 for a win. A women’s player receives $1,350 for a friendly only if the U.S. wins. If the team loses or ties, the female players receive no bonuses. In 2015, when the U.S. women won the World Cup, they received $15 million as a team for winning. In 2014 in the men’s World Cup, Germany won and received $575 million to split among players (Runner-up, Argentina, was given $25 million).

The money issues don’t end at the national level, either. In the United States, we have two professional soccer leagues. The men’s league is known as the MLS, Major League Soccer, and the women’s league is known as the NWSL, or National Women’s Soccer League. The women make between $6000-$38,000 a year and in the equivalent men’s league can earn from around $50,000-$7,000,000 both played in 6-7 month seasons! Landon Donovan, who played for the LA Galaxy, made around $4.6 million a year alone without endorsements.

“Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much,” Alex Morgan said on the Today Show, “We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of last summer. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”