Credit: Screen grab
US Women’s Soccer Team Demands ‘Equal Pay’ – Gets Reminded of Blowout Loss to 14-Year-Old Boys

US Women’s Soccer Team Demands ‘Equal Pay’ – Gets Reminded of Blowout Loss to 14-Year-Old Boys

Fans of the U.S. women’s soccer team pointed to a dominant victory over Thailand on Tuesday in the Women’s World Cup as a reason players should be paid more.

But critics responded to the equal-pay outcry by reminding the team of its 2017 loss to an under-15 boys academy team.

The women’s team set a World Cup record for most goals in a single game by beating Thailand 13-0 in its tournament opener. Thai players were in tears when the final whistle was blown.

Some Twitter users criticized the U.S. women for continuing to enthusiastically celebrate goals even after the game was clearly decided.

But others argued that the win proved American women’s players should be paid as much as their male counterparts.

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“[W]e really out here paying men more when the #USWNT just scored 13 goals and got the all time world record for the most world cup goals in one match,” wrote one commenter, whose tweet garnered more than 1,300 likes and 400 retweets.

J.D. Biersdorfer, a columnist for The New York Times, said that the women deserved “more money than the men’s team” after their World Cup performance.

The Atlantic staff writer Jemele Hill tweeted that the women’s team is better than the men’s team.

There were counterarguments, though. Some users recalled the U.S. Women’s National Team’s blowout loss in 2017 to an FC Dallas club team whose players were aged 14 and 15. The final score was 5-2.

The defeat of the U.S. women, widely considered the greatest women’s soccer program in the sports history, is not an anomaly.

In 2016, the Australian women’s national squad suffered an embarrassing 7-0 defeat to a team of 15-year-old boys. In 2013, Sweden’s women’s team, runners-up in the 2003 women’s World Cup, lost to a local team of teen boys. The U-17 USMNT reportedly thrashed the USWNT 8-2 in a closed-door scrimmage in 2012.

USWNT equal pay controversy

In March, members of the U.S. women’s soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The lawsuit, brought by all 28 players, accuses U.S. soccer of years of “institutionalized gender discrimination.” At issue is not only pay, but also the locations of games and the quality of medical treatment the women receive.

The players complain that although they both play and win more games than the men’s team, they are paid less by the federation, which is both their employer and the sport’s national governing body.

The storied team, which has won three Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, is undoubtedly the most successful in international women’s soccer history. However, a straightforward comparison to the men’s team is complicated by the disparity in global revenue and popularity between the sports, not to mention biology.

While the 2015 Women’s World Cup generated close to $73 million, the 2018 men’s tournament generated an estimated $6.1 billion in revenue. Male players actually received a smaller percentage of the revenue, 9 percent, compared to the 13 percent paid out to female players for their tournament.

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Cover image: Megan Rapinoe. (Screen grab)



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