Seattle’s favorite soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, and her teammates on the U.S. Women’s National Team have won a big victory over the U.S. Soccer Federation by achieving pay equity with the men’s soccer team.
After a six-year fight, the two sides reached a settlement this week in which the female players will receive $24 million in back pay and other benefits from the federation. And, in the future, women will be compensated on par with the men.
The argument against doing this was standard sports economics: there is a lot more money generated and thrown around in men’s soccer, internationally, than in the women’s competitions. The counter argument was more compelling: American women have brought home many more championships than have the American men. (You could also add that the women’s matches are more artfully played, with far fewer fake injury histrionics and elbow-in-the jaw cheap shots than in the guys’ game.)
Sure, America’s male soccer players face a very different level of competition from the teams in other countries where the male version of the sport has been embedded for generations, but American women should not be punished for making the U.S. the international powerhouse of women’s soccer. They should be rewarded.
And now, finally, they are getting what they deserve.
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