As US Women’s Soccer Team Clinches World Cup, Fans Demand “Pay Them”

The fight for equal pay on the pitch continues.

AP Photo/Francisco Seco

The US women’s soccer team just dominated its World Cup final with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. And yet its players still aren’t paid as much as America’s male players—who have yet to win a World Cup, much less four. And the pay gap persists at the international level: The 2019 Women’s World Cup offered players $30 million in prize money; the 2018 Men’s World Cup handed out $400 million.

Members of the women’s team have been in a lengthy standoff with the US Soccer Federation over their lower pay. In 2016, five team members filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging wage discrimination. The team eventually reached a collective agreement for higher pay. However, in March, team members filed a federal lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation, alleging that it had engaged in “intentional gender discrimination” by continuing to pay women less than men. The lawsuit alleges that a federation representative told players that “market realities are such that the women do not deserve to be paid equally to the men.” 

As the complaint argues, this isn’t really about equal pay for equal work, but equal pay for better work. The pay gap, it notes, “is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players—with the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions.”

As the women’s team celebrated its victory today, its many fans joined the call to “pay them.” The stadium in Lyon, France, erupted into chants of “equal pay” as the president of FIFA, the world soccer federation, took the stage. 

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.