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CULTURE

There Should be ‘Equal Pay’ For the World Cup: That Means Paying Men MORE.

The United States women’s soccer team just won the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the Netherlands.

The left was more ecstatic over this than they were during the Fourth of July.

The left never passes up an opportunity to throw fits over grievances settled in the 1960’s.

The crowd traded a “U.S.A.” chant for one saying “Equal Pay”.

The soccer equal pay controversy began making headlines in March, when twenty-eight of the U.S. women’s team sued the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer) over “institutionalized gender discrimination”. The twenty-eight include the teams leading players.

There is a pay gap in soccer, no doubt. But to the dismay of social justice warriors, they have incorrectly identified the victim of the skewed pay. It is in fact men who are not earning their fair share, comparatively.

Leading up to the Women’s World Cup, and especially now that the U.S. has secured the win, the pay gap conversation has snowballed into one that grabbed the attention of Congress.

Over fifty legislators signed a letter addressing this supposed “institutionalized gender discrimination”. Amongst the legislators is Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who stated:

“The women make just as much of a sacrifice, put in just as much mental and physical energy, absorb just as much risk of injury as the men who play for our national team. Yet, when you break it down, a women’s national soccer team player earns a base salary of $3,600 per game while a men’s player earns $5,000.”

The Huffington Post threw out some numbers commonly used to propagate the pay gap myth.

They reported U.S. Soccer’s women salaries are approximately $30,000 less than the men, in addition to earning smaller bonuses.

“U.S. Soccer awarded the men’s team a $5.4 million bonus after it lost in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup. It awarded the women’s team $1.7 million when it won the entire 2015 tournament.”

Women are actually earning over three times as much of their respective tournament’s revenue than men.

But when you figure revenue into the equation – the money that drives the financial reward – the math does not add up.

Forbes’s Mike Ozanian helped set the record straight when the lawsuit was first filed. Referencing the Women’s World Cup in Vancouver four years ago, Ozanian said, “The Women’s World Cup brought in almost $73 million, of which the players got 13%. The 2010 men’s World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.”

In yesterday’s World Cup, participating teams received over 22 per cent of the revenue, whereas men only received seven per cent of the revenue in last year’s World Cup in Russia. Women are actually earning over three times more than men.

Because the Men’s World Cup made north of six billion dollars, that seven per cent equates to 400 million dollars for the teams.

The Women’s World Cup only earned around 130 million dollars, so the 22 per cent is only 30 million dollars.

The USWNT Celebrates their First Place win as Captain Christie Rampone raises the trophy at the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers. Photo by rachael.c.king, via Flickr

Not only has the wrong victim of skewed pay been identified, but the wrong motive as well. The gap has nothing to do with “institutionalized gender discrimination” and everything to do with fewer people wanting to watch women’s soccer.

A Los Angeles Times opinion editorial said “The U.S. women’s soccer team outperforms the men’s team when it comes to victories, domestic viewership, name recognition and general awesomeness. Its members are stars, consistently ranked No. 1 in the world, and they make millions of dollars for their employer, the U.S. Soccer Federation.”

Yes, the U.S. women’s soccer team is ranked number one internationally – in women’s sports. But it still doesn’t hold a candle to the men.

Equal pay means paying men and women the same percentage of their respective tournament’s revenue.

The Men’s World Cup in Russia generated over 45 times the revenue of yesterday’s Women’s World Cup. Why so much more? Have you ever watched women’s soccer?

A team entirely made up of adolescent males beat the U.S. women’s national team 5-2 in a scrimmage that was supposed to “tune up” the women’s team prior to their game against Russia two years back.

People opt to watch the fast paced, more aggressive gender. It is simply more exciting. Until this changes (which it won’t) the tournament revenue imbalance is not going away.

Equal pay means paying men and women the same percentage of their respective tournament’s revenue. Men deserve to compete for the same percentage of the revenue they generate as women do. To fix the pay gap, we either need to pay men more, or women less.

Sofia Carbone is a junior editor at Human Events

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