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  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: equal pay, soccer, USWNT, wage gap, World Cup   

    Does the USWNT deserve more? 

    Does the USWNT deserve more?

    With the US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) recently winning their fourth World Cup the topic of equal pay has been a popular talking point lately. It’s been well documented that the Men’s National Team (USMNT) gets paid a substantially larger wage than the women’s team. Many people will be quick to point out that many women’s professional sports just aren’t as popular as men’s professional sports. After all, it is all about ticket sales, merchandise sales, and sponsorships that earn sports teams their money. So the Men’s National Team must be more popular and successful than the Women’s team, right? Well, not exactly.

    As far as success on the pitch goes the Women’s National Team has won Four World Cups since 1991 with this year’s win being a back to back championship. The US Men’s Team has never won a World Cup. The closest they came was in 1930 when they finished in 3rd place. In the last World Cup which took place last year, the men’s team didn’t even make the tournament after being knocked out by Trinidad and Tobago in a qualifying round.

    So, is it all the merch that the Men’s Team sells that makes them all that extra money? Not really. The USWNT jersey is the best selling jersey of all time according to Nike.

    How about TV ratings? The Women’s Team has their male counterparts beat there too. This past Sunday’s win against The Netherlands was the highest rated soccer broadcast ever in the US.

    Then what about the professional soccer leagues in the US? Surely the men’s league must sell more tickets than the men’s. According to the Washington Post, the ticket sales between the two leagues are almost dead even.

    So is it any surprise that the USWNT are suing the US Soccer Federation over unequal pay?

    If there was true equity in the world the USWNT would be making not just the same as the men’s team but much more.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:28 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FIFA, , futbol, , , , soccer, ,   

    Today’s state of sports: Kids could teach the pros a thing or two 

    Over a recent weekend, I spoke with a friend who had spent the past couple of months coaching a little league team of 8-year-old boys. The kids had a good season, he said, emphasizing that “good” didn’t necessarily mean “winning.” Sure, they won their share of games, he said. But they lost a couple of heartbreakers, too.

    Still, he said, all of the kids had a good season. Some really improved their skills. Others picked up some confidence in their abilities. And at the end-of-the-season party, the kids talked about great catches and good hits instead of victories or losses. For these little kids, the game was still just that – a game. And winning wasn’t everything.

    The grown-ups today sure could learn a thing or two from these kids.

    A few weeks ago, just after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down his punishments on the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady for their roles in the “deflategate” scandal at the end of last season, I started to write a blog post about my disgust with the whole episode. But what could I say that I hadn’t said in an earlier blog post?

    But then came the next scandal – corruption at the highest levels of FIFA, the organization behind professional soccer. I’m not as much of a soccer fan as I am of the NFL but you had to admit, this scandal had all of the juicy elements of any good scandal – charges of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud, the organization’s president suddenly resigning and confessions starting to emerge.

    I’m not naive enough to think that corruption – whether bribery or cheating – is new to the world of sports. And I certainly recognize that the outrage over FIFA’s bribes and Brady’s deflated footballs will eventually fade, especially when the next not-yet-known point-shaving scandal or juicing-gate something or other surfaces.

    Already, the New England Patriots have said that the team won’t fight Goodell’s punishment, choosing instead to “move on” and focus on the upcoming season – without admitting any guilt, of course. But, still, I found myself searching for the right words to express the betrayal and disgust I had been feeling about all of this.

    That’s when I read a quote from Andrew Jennings, the journalist and author who, for years, has been crying “foul” about corruption at FIFA and is largely being credited for sparking the downfall of the FIFA leadership. Shortly after the headlines broke, Jennings spoke to the Washington Post about the FIFA executives. He said:

    “I know that they are criminal scum, and I’ve known it for years. And that is a thoughtful summation. That is not an insult. That is not throwing about wild words. These scum have stolen the people’s sport. They’ve stolen it, the cynical thieving bastards.”

    Finally, someone spoke the words that I’ve struggled to find for months. These grown-ups are stealing our sports – and not just from us. They’re stealing the game from little kids,too. I can’t help but think of those 8-year-old little-leaguers and how they were perfectly content with winning some and losing some this past season.

    I know a lot of young athletes look to the pros as role models and aspire to be like them some day. But for once, I wish the tables were turned. I wish the grown-ups would take a look at some of these kids and behave more like them. It might bring some of the integrity back to the game.

     
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