US Women’s Soccer

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Inequality for women in the United States is something that has long been investigated and argued controversially. It’s one of those issues, like injustice for people of color, that we are making progress in but are still far from reaching true and fair balance. We often see this inequality in the workplace, where women are put into different work environments, with adjusted benefits and pay solely based on the gender factor.

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It is no different for professional athletes. Playing a sport professionally IS their job, and players still see the same unfair discrimination as seen in more corporate settings.

US women’s soccer has long been struggling in the fight to receive fair pay and equal benefits compared to the men, especially given that women’s soccer sees more success in their games, and attract a greater audience. How is it that women still are forced to play of turf fields, while the men almost always get grass fields? The women’s team plays the majority of their matches on turf, which has been shown to increase the risk of injuries and a force a more cautious style of play, while the men get the luxury most often playing on grass. Clearly, the success of the women’s team means nothing to the Football Association when it comes to ensuring their safety. The US men’s team still receives higher pay, even though US women often make it past group stages into the quarter, semi, and championship round, bringing home more victories and trophies.

They are overlooked in even the simplest matters, such as hotel and family accomodations. The issue is that US women’s soccer players are still being ill-treated when it’s clear they deserve more. They should be able to make a decent life for themselves with all the work they put in and the results they produce for our country. FIFA and the USSF need to provide the women’s team with more equitable benefits when it comes to equipment and field quality, and better salaries and bonuses for the achievements of the team.

Of course, the men’s team should be entitled to their bonuses when they perform well too, it’s just a fact that they tend to not do as well as women in the World Cup, Olympics, and other tournaments. Based on their higher number of viewers and numerous wins and championships they bring home for our country, and, there is no reason the women’s team should not be given fairer pay, the right to play in a safe environment, receive unbiased travel and living accommodations, and be seen as soccer players without a sexist bias.

The greatest portion of funding for the United States Soccer Federation comes from their broadcasting and sponsorship revenue, with their main partner being ESPN. The US women’s national team has established a growing audience which has certainly surpassed the viewership of the men’s games.

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