USWNT Success Deserves Equal Pay



USWNT celebrating.

Madison Endres

The most successful team representing the United States is none other than the women’s national soccer team (USWNT) with the facts there to prove it. But even after continuously proving themselves as the best, these amazing women fail to receive the recognition they deserve.

The USWNT has won the Women’s World Cup four times, more than any other country in the competition’s history, with their most recent victories in 2015 and 2019 consecutively. In addition, they have four Olympic gold medals, expecting another one to come next summer in Tokyo. Their performances over the past few decades have proved that they are truly the best women’s soccer team in the world, and the best team to come from the US in any sport. 

However, despite their large success, these outstanding women are still paid significantly less than their male counterparts.

Twenty-eight players on the USWNT filed a lawsuit against US Soccer in March 2019, demanding equal pay. One of the major parts of the lawsuit stated that if the women’s team played and won twenty friendly matches, they would earn $4,950 per game, whereas if the men’s team performed with the same success, they would earn $13,166 per game.

It can be argued that men’s sports bring in more spectators and therefore more revenue, as an explanation for the large pay gap. However, the women’s team brought in $50.8 million from ticket sales during the 2016 to 2018 period following their 2015 World Cup win, whereas the men’s team brought in only $49.9 million. Clearly, ticket sales are not the main factor in this pay inequality; rather, gender discrimination is to blame.

While the women’s team has brought in championship after championship, gold medal after gold medal, the men’s team failed to even qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The US men’s team has never won the cup, and never brought home the gold in the Olympic games.

Comparing the accomplishments of the two teams emphasizes the pride people take in the USWNT. With the lack of success from the men’s team, compared with the overwhelming success of the women’s team, the triumph of the USWNT creates a sense of nationalism throughout the country.

I am proud of all teams that compete and represent the US, but no team can compete with the USWNT. As a soccer player myself, their success is inspirational, with each and every player on the team contributing to every win and breaking down barriers of sexism within the sport.

Watching their championship game in the World Cup this past summer was exhilarating, cheering for every goal scored and appreciating the well-deserved victory. Each player is an inspiration for myself and especially young girls who can look up to these women as their role models.

When it comes down to it, it’s not about the amount being made. These athletes are well off and making money doing what they love. The issue is the discrimination and unequal treatment these women must face, even with their consistent success. It is expected that they will continue to succeed regardless, hopefully with a victory towards equal pay in the near future.