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Politics

Florida Congresswomen Want Equal Pay for U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

July 6, 2019 - 7:00am
U.S. plays The Netherlands Sunday in the Women's World Cup Final
U.S. plays The Netherlands Sunday in the Women's World Cup Final

With the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team continuing to shine in the World Cup and scheduled to face The Netherlands in the final on Sunday, two Florida Democrats are taking advantage of the moment to push for the team to be paid more. 

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., one of the cochairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus, wrote to Carlos Cordeiro, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, on the matter. 

“Despite continuing to break attendance and viewership records, and many times generating more revenue than the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has faced an outsized wage gap compared to their male counterparts,” Castor’s office noted. 

Castor wrote Cordeiro on Wednesday. 

“I urge you to take the opportunity surrounding the unparalleled success of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and remedy the inequities in their compensation and treatment. Doing so would rectify the long-standing unfairness that the USWNT has continued to endure. I have been pressing this issue for years, urged your predecessor to act, and now look to you to take action,” Castor wrote. “Just this year, the team has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Foundation (USSF).  On International Women’s Day, I filed a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for pay equity.  You have received a letter from me and several of my colleagues today demanding answers about gender discrimination and unequal pay for the USWNT.   What more will it take for our players to receive the recognition and compensation they deserve?

“As the players stated in their lawsuit: ‘The pay for advancement through the rounds of the World Cup was so skewed that, in 2014, the USSF provided the MNT with performance bonuses totaling $5,375,000 for losing in the Round of 16, while, in 2015, the USSF provided the WNT with only $1,725,000 for winning the entire tournament. The WNT earned more than three times less than the MNT while performing demonstrably better,’” Castor wrote before turning her attention to the USWNT’s current run in the Women’s World Cup.  

“The facts are overwhelmingly clear and financial reports show that the women’s team has generated more revenue for U.S. Soccer than the men over the last three years.   The U.S. 2-1 victory over France on June 28 set a record for the most-watched Women's World Cup quarterfinal match on U.S. English-language television. FOX drew 6.12 million viewers for Friday's match, and peaked at 8.24 million.  FIFA expects the competition to reach a total of 1 billion viewers across all platforms worldwide.  And Nike has stated that the USWNT soccer jersey is the best-selling soccer top ever sold on its website.  It is clear that it is long past time that our women start earning equal pay as their counterparts,” Castor wrote. 

“I urge you and U.S. Soccer to not only act to rectify the pay inequity for the USWNT, but to urge FIFA to do more to raise the status of women in international soccer.  It is reported that FIFA’s cash reserves have soared to a record $2.74 billion. That’s more than enough to take meaningful action to invest in women’s competition and boost pay equity for female players.

The eyes of the world are focused on the skill and determination of the USWNT and we are anxiously awaiting the outcome on Sunday.  But we can no longer wait for U.S. Soccer to take action to treat the USWNT fairly,” Castor concluded. 

Castor wasn’t the only member of the Florida delegation to write Cordeiro on the matter this week. On Wednesday, the Democratic Women’s Caucus cochairs, including U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., rounded up 50 members of the House to sent a letter to Cordeiro. Signers from Florida included Castor, Frankel and fellow Democrat U.S. Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 

“The inequities that these women champions have faced as members of the USWNT are indefensible,” the members wrote. “The U.S. Soccer Federation should work to correct course and close the wage gap so that the only thing women athletes are fighting for is the world title or a gold medal. Instead, the message sent to women and girls is that their skills and accomplishments are of lesser value.”

The Women's World Cup Championship Final  will be played between the United States and The Netherlands in Lyon, France. It can be seen on the FOX TV network at 11 a.m. ET Sunday.

Comments

In the sports and entertainment business, the size of the paychecks is directly related to the size of the audience and the profitability of the activity. If professional women's soccer has the same-sized audience and is equally as profitable as the men's game, pay 'em the same. otherwise, get a real job.

I just watched parts of an entire women's soccer game. When you see the carefully-curated clips in the ads it looks like such an exciting game, but if you watch an actual game it's pretty boring. The women just do not have the physical capabilities of men, so it's like watching a high school boys team. In fact, didn't this so-called elite women's team just get beat by a team of 15 year old boys? By the way, in this video I watched the announcer said the game was "sold out", but the video shows that stadium was half empty. And it wasn't a large stadium either, it was Avaya in San Jose. If truly "sold out" the stadium would have been packed full.

Congratulations to the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team who just won the World Cup. Have no idea what you are talking about Sarah. If you watched this tournament and especially this final played in Lyon, France, you would have seen a packed stadium and thousands of Americans who traveled to France just to see the game. The U.S. Men's Team was so bad they didn't even make it into the Olympics. The women's game is competitive all over the world and has millions of fans. The prominence of the American women has raised every country's national game. The American women deserve equal pay, in this sport if no other. If you watch MLS men's games as you did MLS women's games you will see a slight crowd on some nights, depending on which teams are playing. Have a look at the Tampa Rays home baseball games sometime. Their attendance is even less than MLS soccer. I am proud of our national women's team and so should every American. We lead the world in that sport. They all want to knock us out. BUT NOT IN 2015 AND NOT THIS YEAR. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. The world can try again in 2023.

Larry, you are spot on! I have been covering soccer in this country going all the way back to the 1970s and the NASL. I have seen how the US Women's National team has strong backing and since bursting on the scene in the 1990s they have seen steady growth. Young girls have role models in sports now with the USWNT, the WNBA, and tennis to name a few areas they can compete in from the time they are little kids all the way through college. On every measure, the USA Women's team is miles ahead of the men. I am with you that we should embrace this win and celebrate it. The pay issue will work itself out over time just like the prize money did in women's tennis. People who truly know and love the sport of soccer understand why the win was big, meanwhile the haters simply prove that they have not got a clue.

Yeah yeah what you looser congresswomen want is another government give away of taxpayer money. Kind of a pay to play scheme. We force hard working honest Americans to pay more taxes so you lady soccer babes vote for us. Without stealing from taxpayers there is no viable economic way to pay female soccer players more. The market dictates their pay. You congresswomen should encourage female soccer players to work harder in order to draw equal advertising revenue to the male soccer players revenue so the market can pay them more. Shut up social justice warriors and keep your stealing hands out of our wallets.

Just like USA gymnastics, US soccer is private and is funded through private money. It's not taxpayer funded.

Here's an idea why not do like football did to provide more jobs and better pay for female players? Lingerie football? Why not lingerie soccer? Lets promote Congresswoman Castor to Coach and have her working the sidelines in a shear baby doll and heels...humada humada humada. That's using intro to economics 101 to raise the pay scale!!!

Perhaps when the women's team can produce the revenue of men's teams that will be done. Plus being smart enough not to alienate many us paying their salaries with anti American displays of special interest.

They claim that they do generate more revenue than US men's soccer but in the article there is just some tangential evidence of it and they don't state any actual monetary figures. Certainly worldwide women's soccer cannot compete with men's soccer. To me it's just like a bunch of women acting like men, but they don't have the physical abilities of the men so it's like watching really weak men. Didn't a team of 15 year old boys just beat this women's team?

As long as the US Women's Soccer team keep the anti-American, flag hating player on - I say NO more money. We the taxpayers who have to shell out for their glory pay are sick and tired of these prima donnas demanding one thing or another while trashing our country and flag. Show us some respect - then we'll think about it!!

Congresswoman Castor is asking that the U.S. Woman's soccer team which is far more successful than the men's team get equal pay. It is a statement of support on the weekend that the US Women's team is going for another World Cup win. She is standing up for women's rights as she should. As we have seen in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi women are losing rights every day. So, if you are threatened by strong, well-educated women then that is your problem. Don't take your bias out on Congresswoman Castor.

If men and women are equals then why are there men and womens teams? Have. one team and let's see if it is mostly men or their equals? Women have tried competing with men in golf. How did this turnout for women?

"Threatened"?.. NO. Merely astonished that these self-serving Congresswomen are always more concerned about their "gender" in "every other corner of the world" than their own Florida constituents whom they are SWORN to serve"; The always rather chase whatever small modicum of media coverage they can grab, in whatever form and on whatever topic they can wrangle (Strangely, it always seems to turn into a "group gender quest" too..)! ! !

"Congressional Soccer Caucus"?!?!? These women: Castor, Frankel, and the "Two Debbie-cakes" representing Florida in Congress, have "no clue" that "the eyes of the world" (as they so cavalierly put it) ARE ON THEM TOO. ONLY Floridas' Citizens can replace these nitwits in Congress before they turn Florida into "mini-me" copies of California and New York.... C'MON VOTERS, WAKE UP... BEFORE THESE "CLOISTERED REPRESENTATIVES" BURY US ! ! !

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