Female players deserve equal pay

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By STEVEN FOWLER

No matter who you are and what you do, wage discrimination is wrong.

Unfortunately, you could be the best person in a professional occupation, including sports, and still be significantly underpaid because of your gender.

Five members of the United States Women’s National Team filed a complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation on March 30.

Their complaint says they earn as little as 40 percent of what the U.S. Men’s National Team makes, even though the women’s team won its third FIFA world championship in 2015.

The women sent their complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency designed to protect workers and enforce civil liberties.

“Equal work deserves equal pay,” USWNT co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn tweeted on April 12. “It’s a simple concept. Never stop asking why it’s not simply done. #EqualPayDay.”

Female national soccer players were paid $3,600 per game with a winning bonus of $1,350, according to the New York Times. Male players were paid $5,000 per win with a bonus of $8,166.

When the women won the World Cup, the team earned $2 million in salary. By comparison, the 2014 men’s team earned $9 million before advancing to the round of 16.

Bonus payments were also significantly less. Female players were scheduled to be paid $20,000 for a third-place finish in the World Cup, compared to men’s earnings of $52,083. A second-place finish would earn women $32,500, while the men would earn $260,417.

I was dumfounded when I saw how little money women made for reaching the ultimate goal – first place. Did you know they are paid $75,000 compared to the men’s $390,625?

Women on the national team also receive smaller daily allowances while at training camp in both domestic and international venues, according to the EEOC complaint.

The numbers are staggering all over the globe. The women are given a $60 daily allowance compared to men earning $75. When making public appearances, women earn $3,000, which is $750 less than men.

USWNT players deserve more than they earn, considering they have been crowned Olympic champions four times since 1996 and received numerous accolades.

I’d like to see both national teams compete against each other just to show how deserving the women’s team is.

If the U.S. Soccer Federation refuses to budge on equal pay, fans and players shouldn’t participate. This would provide a wakeup call to the sports world, and to employers and businesses across the globe.

It’s a no-brainer: Eliminate wage inequality.

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