US Women's Soccer players file equal pay complaint

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Moxie, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Equal compensation is back in the sports news, this time US women's football.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/mar/31/us-soccers-wage-gap-is-americas-shame

    A few of the highlights: "Last year, the US women’s national team produced $20m more in revenue than the men’s team, and yet their players make four times less."

    "The women who stole America’s hearts at last summer’s World Cup, who crushed Japan in the Fourth of July weekend final and surpassed all previous soccer television ratings in America, are paid a fraction of what their male counterparts earn." ($70K v. $250K.)

    "While the American women continue to march through 2016, winning world tournaments in preparation for this summer’s Olympics where they will be the favorites to win a fifth gold medal, the men have languished. Despite their comparatively hefty compensation, the men’s national team has slogged through World Cup qualifiers and squelched enthusiasm. Earlier this week, the men’s under-23 team lost their last Olympic qualifying match, meaning for the second straight Olympics the US will only field a women’s soccer team. If dominance, record television ratings and booming popularity aren’t determiners of a player’s popularity, then what is?"

    Also, the US Women's soccer team is the only women's team to get a ticker-tape parade in NYC. (And I'm guessing the only soccer team.)

    I'm curious as to how everyone here sees this one.
     
  2. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    I think they should get paid more. Fair is fair. I assume we're talking about their services for the national team. If they generate more revenue they should be paid more and whoever is responsible for this should be sacked. The men justifiably get paid more for MLS, fair is fair
     
  3. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    They're not asking to be paid more. They're asking to be paid the same.
     
  4. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Generous of them. If they're generating more revenue they should get more. I think I see why they're doing that though, and I'm not sure I like it. They probably figure at some point the men's team will inevitably start earning more than them so they'll be able to ride on their coat tails eventually. They should have more confidence in their continued success
     
  5. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Your thesis here is a little mean. You're saying that US women's soccer should grub for more, right now, while they have the upper-hand, since, if I read you correctly, you assume that the men's game, no matter how pathetic US men's soccer is at this moment, will eventually surpass the women's game in results, popularity and revenue. I would answer that with two things: on the practical side, if you look at the disparity as it stands, even parity is a big ask, let alone asking to get paid more. And, secondly, if you look at the bigger picture, and include the conversations we've had recently about equal pay in tennis, women are asking for equal pay for equal work, and they mean to have an impact across the board, not just for their small slice of the world. Soccer stars, as well as tennis stars will be different tomorrow than they are today, even between men and women. But if you pay commiserate wages and purses based on the fact that both genders produce stars, you will encourage young players equally to pursue the sports, which will more likely produce stars of both sexes in future. Likewise, if you put the same money and effort into the youth programs, you get results back. (Title IX was mentioned in the article I cited. Not sure if everyone outside of the US knows what that is, but it is generally credited with the rise in women's soccer and basketball, especially.)
     
  6. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Women's basketball has amounted to virtually nothing after 50 years. It gets low TV ratings and low attendance. Women's college programs in all sports are a net drag the budgets of schools. They stay alive because of the men's basketball and football revenue.
     
  7. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    I agree with this, though I would point out that we are talking about soccer in the United States. Comparing these two teams is like comparing a wage of $6 an hour to $8 an hour and talking about which is better. It is utterly trivial.

    The better comparison would be men's soccer to women's soccer in Europe and Latin America, since the general publics in those parts of the world actually care about the sport and put many of their best athletes into it. In the United States no one would notice if professional soccer shut down tomorrow.
     
  8. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    We're talking about women's soccer. Nowhere does anyone mention basketball. And not college, but pro soccer and compensation.
     
  9. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    $2/hour is not a trivial difference, if anyone were working for that wage, but you obscure the difference between $70K and $250K amongst elite athletes who have very few years to make the most of their gifts, when the women are the ones who are the stars. In the US, and that's what we're talking about. And you're wrong about professional soccer in the US, at least on the women's side. There are more girls playing soccer in the US than any sport in any country. They care. Whether you care about them, or not.

    And why does women doing well in a few sports make some men's walnuts shrink to raisins? Can't you just be generous and applaud them for what they've done? You've basically got all the sports. And the vast lion's share of the sports money. Why is women's soccer in Europe and Latin America a better comparison? Because it makes up for the inadequacies of men's soccer in the US. The question at hand is the one-to-one comparison in men's and women's soccer in the US, and how they're compensated. A measly victory for the women and it sticks in your throat so much that you can't even admit that maybe, just maybe, they ought to get paid the same by the US federation. Cor, blimey.
     
    #9 Moxie, Apr 8, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  10. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Actually I meant that they think the men's national team will eventually surpass their revenue generation. Frankly I think they should have more confidence in the sustainability of what they're doing. I don't see the men's national team becoming world beaters anytime soon. What I'm accusing them of is cynical maybe, and they are overly pessimistic about what they can continue to do. My view is very simple, if you're generating more income than another group then you should be paid more. It has nothing to do with your gender or anything else for that matter. That's what capitalism is all about. For them to only want equality is pathetic in my view, and whoever is negotiating for them is a fool. Aim for more, and you'll get a better deal
     
  11. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    There is a real possibility that you're wrong about that...men's soccer surpassing women's, in the US. As I said above, girl's play soccer in the US above all other sports played anywhere, amongst young people (I heard that today on the radio. If I need to back that up, give me some time.) In any case, women and soccer in the US is huge. Otherwise in the US, there is our football, basketball, baseball, hockey, the college versions of basketball and football, golf and tennis, all of which rank above soccer, as far as popularity in men's sports. And probably, frankly, horse racing, on a few given days. I have been telling my European friends that US (men's) soccer was only 10 years away from making an impact...for the last 30 years. And it never happens. Any superstars we have in soccer, we've scraped up from those aging-out of the more significant leagues, and brought them here to make money at the end of their careers. Starting with Pele.

    Whereas, our women have a real roster of well-known names, a legacy of wins on the big stage, and a serious fan-base. It is possible that men's soccer never surpasses women's, in the US. At the risk of sounding cynical, asking for equal pay does seem like the best they'll ever get. If every conversation I've ever had on the internet is any example, or Ray Moore or Novak Djokovic, men really don't like to think that women could do well enough to be equal in sports, let alone do better. So those soccer chicks will be hoping to just get "equal." B-)
     
  12. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Moxie, I think you're misreading me. My point is that I don't think men's national team soccer in the US will surpass the women's. So why on earth should the women's national team be pushing for equal pay. If they are generating more income than the men (for the national side), then they should get more. And I think they're negotiating is weak
     
  13. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Well, you kinda did say before that you thought that the women were gaming it against eventually being surpassed. But, be that as it may, I think that women in sports stand with women across the board. For equal pay for equal work. In a first world where women earn 37 cents on the dollar less than men. Women in sports and entertainment have a chance to push harder for it, with higher profiles, and they are. Not for more, just for the same. I think it's great if women with power push for equanimity. We all understand that superstars have the ability to make more, when you include endorsements, etc. than the rank and file. And when you win more, you earn more. I think people forget about the undercard players in this conversation. The top players will make good and even stupid money. The important thing is that the lower ranks make enough money to keep playing. And to motivate young amateurs to strive for it. If you don't have depth of field, you don't have a rich, competitive and compelling game.
     
  14. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Yes, that's the point. That's what I don't like. They should have more confidence in what they have been doing. The fact that they are bottling it and only asking for equal pay shows a lack of confidence in my opinion. If they really believe in equality then why not come out and say that from a gender neutral standpoint it should simply be about fairly compensating the higher revenue generating group? Simple as that.

    Perhaps our real disagreement is that you think that its equal work. I can't go along with that. I am saying the women's team is producing superior work at the moment, and they should be paid for that. To think otherwise is some sort of Marxist fantasy. By the way I do agree that an actress who is a big draw should be paid as much as an actor. Frankly if she pulls in more tickets she should be paid more. I don't really care much for the concept of equal pay, this is not about morality it's plain business sense. Higher revenue makers should get higher pay
     
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