The US Women’s Soccer Team Uses Victory Parade as a Platform for Equal Pay
Following their historic win of the 2019 World Cup, the US women’s national soccer team took a victory lap via a celebratory parade surrounded by masses of adoring fans in the streets of NYC. Through the whirlwind of brightly colored confetti, popping champagne and carefree dancing, a strong message was still very clear: achieving equal pay and fighting against gender discrimination is the greatest goal of all for these champions.
In March of 2019, 28 members of the US team filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation regarding the large pay gap that divides the men’s and women’s national soccer teams. Despite their incredible athleticism and performance, the women have repeatedly stated that they are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. According to audited financial statements from the US Soccer Federation (USSF) procured by The Wall Street Journal, US women’s soccer games have generated more revenue than the US men’s team for the past three years. In 2016 the women’s national team brought in $1.9 million more in annual revenue than the men’s team. Between 2016–2018, the women’s games generated $50.8 million in revenue. In contrast, men’s games only generated $49.9 million.
$30 million is the amount of prize money awarded to the US women’s national soccer team for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. According to The New York Times, the US men’s team was awarded $400 million following the 2018 Men’s World Cup.
In respect to the lawsuit against the USSF, the report from The Wall Street Journal emphasizes that the “ability of the women’s team to generate gate revenues that equals or exceeds the men’s team is an important battleground.”
While giving a speech on the steps of City Hall during the victory celebration, US Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro was drowned out by thousands of voices chanting “equal pay”.
Cordeiro addressed the roaring crowd, saying, “We hear you, we believe in you, and we’re committed to doing right by you.”
He followed this acknowledgement by stating that “US Soccer has invested more in women’s soccer than any country in the world, and we will continue to invest more in women’s soccer than any country in the world, and we will continue to encourage others, including our friends at FIFA, to do the same.”
“We believe at US Soccer that all female athletes deserve fair and equitable pay,” Cordeiro continued. “And together, I believe we can get this done. Because as this team has taught us, being the greatest isn’t just about how you play on the field — it’s about what you stand for off the field.”
Following his statement, Megan Rapinoe addressed the crowd and thanked Cordeiro for his support and commitment to eradicating the sport’s gender pay gap.
“I think he’s with us, I think he’s on the right side of things, I think he’s gonna make things right,” Rapinoe said.
“We look forward to holding those feet to the fire,” she added.