Professional female athletes deserve equal pay

By Guadalupe Pinedo

It inspired a nation in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, but the U.S. Women’s National Team still has a long way to go. Despite taking home the cup, the vast gender pay gap has never been more evident.

In June 2015, the best of the best from around the world in women’s soccer met in Canada. For 30 days across six cities, 24 squads battled it out for the top spot.

In the final match, the United States and Japan battled it out for the top spot. The United States beat Japan 5-2, making it the third time the two teams fought for the gold.

Japan beat the United States in a 3-1-penalty shoot out in the 2011 World Cup after a 2-2 draw in extended time. A year later, at the 2012 London Olympics, the United States took home the gold medal over Japan.

The final match was the most watched soccer game ever. In the first 15 minutes of the match, Carli Lloyd scored a historic hat trick. Although this all brought much needed attention to women’s sports, it was not what Americans were talking about.

It took home the world cup, but the U.S. Women’s National Team was awarded less than its male counterpart.

The total prize for the winner of the men’s world cup in 2014 was $576 million compared to the $15 million the women’s world cup winner received last year.

The men’s German national team was awarded $35 million for each player when they won the cup in 2014. The women’s team was awarded a fraction of that total prize: $2 million each. The men’s U.S. team received $8 million for making it to the round of 16.

The men’s U.S. team has never won a world cup. If the men’s team is awarded a big prize for just competing, it is only fair the women’s team gets that or more for actually winning the cup.

The FIFA organization has been criticized over the unfair pay gap. The women’s team made $6 million less than the men’s team, which was knocked out in the first round of competition.

The U.S. women’s team inspired a nation. It worked hared to get to the finals and deserved to be compensated the same as any men’s team.

Many will argue that the reason for such pay inequality is popularity. Men’s sports are more popular than women’s sports. They bring in more fans and generate more revenue.

But since the London 2012 Olympics, the popularity in women’s sports “particularly women’s soccer ” has increased.

When the women’s team took home the gold medal over Japan, people became more interested in this squad. People noticed the players’ dedication to the sport and their commitment to the team.

After its victory in Canada last summer, the team embarked on a 10-match victory tour. Across the nation, fans rallied around the players to watch the champions play in international friendlies.

They came face-to-face with the national teams of Brazil, Haiti and Costa Rica among others.

Winning all games with impressive scores proved why the women on the team are the world champions. They are changing the game. With their win at the world cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team proved that its hard work deserves to be recognized. So why is it not recognized yet? Women athletes put in just as much work as men. They deserve equal pay win or lose.

Equal pay

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

Equal pay

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