U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Demands ‘Equal Pay’ With Men’s Team

Ilona Schumicky | July 10, 2019 | 11:48am EDT
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(FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

On July 7, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) won the Women’s World Cup for the fourth time. After the win, some people in the crowd yelled “equal pay!” in support of the team’s lawsuit, filed in March, against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) demanding more compensation for the female players.

The lawsuit states that the “USSF has and continues to have a policy and practice of discriminating against Plaintiffs based upon their gender by treating them substantially less favorably than members of the MNT [Men’s National Team] with regard to pay and other terms and conditions of employment.” 

(FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

This discrimination is occurring, according to the lawsuit, “despite the USSF requiring” the women players  “to perform the same job duties that require equal skill, effort and responsibilities performed under similar working conditions as MNT players."

Outside of the legal realm, critics are demanding that the female players be paid the same as the male players on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT), even though the women, as a percentage of the advertising revenue their team generates, are paid more than the men.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY.), among many others, have expressed their support for “equal pay.”

 On July 7, Speaker Pelosi tweeted, “Congrats Team USA #WorldCup2019 Champions! The Women’s National Team showed us their greatness -- now show them the money. #fairpay.” 

That same day, Speaker Pelosi invited the women’s team to visit the U.S. Capitol to celebrate their victory.


Sen. Warren, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted, “They bring home the ratings, the revenue, and the wins. But even if they didn’t, the players of the @USWNT deserve equal pay.”

Self-described socialist Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “At this point we shouldn’t even be asking for #EqualPay for the #USWMNT -- we should demand they be paid at least twice as much.”

When asked about the equal pay issue,  President Trump told reporters on July 7, “I would like to see that, but you’ve also got to look at the numbers…. You have to look at who’s taking in what.”


British columnist Katie Hopkins pointed out that that the women’s team, when it comes to actual skill and merit, had been beaten by a high school team comprised of 15-year-old boys. “Why would the #USWNT deserve equal pay with men when they can be beaten by an under 15s boys team?,” tweeted Hopkins.  “Pay on ability, reward on performance, promote on merit. 15 year old boys are more able than this team. Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Graham Allan, host of the “Dear America Podcast” said that “#EqualPay is stupid.” He explained that, “Women earned 13% of generated revenue for the World Cup/ Men earned 9%!! Men generated $9B in revenue/Women $73M hence more money for Men! It’s not about Gender!”

In other words, as a percentage of the revenue generated by the women’s vs the men’s team, the women players were paid more – 13% for women vs. 9% for men.

Also, as explained by Forbes, “The Women's World Cup [in 2015] brought in almost $73 million, of which the players got 13%. The 2010 men's World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.”

“The men still pull the World Cup money wagon,” said Forbes.  “The men's World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women's World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams."

“It is true that the American women, who sweat and practice as much as their male compatriots — perhaps more, given their superior results — don’t make as much,” said conservative columnist Rich Lowry.  “But the women’s game isn’t as popular or profitable, which fundamentally drives pay.” 

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