Three World Cups, Zero Pay Increase

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Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

It’s the same old story, just a different sport. In my article “Challenging the Status Quo,” I discuss the television coverage and pay gap between the WNBA and the NBA. In 2005, Venus Williams wrote a letter to the London Times fighting for pay equality at Wimbledon, the same effort she put forth as an 18 year old in 1998. “Venus VS.” – the espnW Nine for IX film directed by Ava Duvernay – documents Williams’ fight for pay equality that led to her becoming the first Wimbledon women’s champion to earn as much as the men’s singles winner (Roger Federer) in 2007. Just like the WNBA, the Women’s Tennis Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association – and even after winning three World Cups – the United States Women’s National Soccer team are still being cheated financially. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association only gave the United States team $2 million for winning the World Cup from a total cup purse of $15 million distributed to the women’s World Cup teams.

In comparison, 2014 World Cup champion Germany received $35 million from a total FIFA purse of $358 million distributed to men’s World Cup teams. The World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan garnered the largest audience ever (on Fox and Telemundo) for a televised soccer game in the U.S. at 26.7 million, and produced record ratings in Japan, Canada, France, England and China. Furthermore, the Nine for IX film “the 99ers” highlights how the U.S. women’s soccer team positively changed the face of women’s athletics. Sixteen years ago, women soccer players were able to draw a crowd of more than 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and about 40 million Americans watching on television.

There’s no doubt soccer has the leverage to bring in sponsorships and there’s a market for women, but for some reason it’s still tough for them to gain support. Continue reading “Three World Cups, Zero Pay Increase”