World Cup Say What?
Start writing a post
Sports

World Cup Say What?

The wage gap in women’s sports.

11
World Cup Say What?

July 5, 2015, the US Women’s Soccer team went up against Japan for their first World Cup win in 16 years. It marked the start of a nationwide celebration: girls dressed in soccer gear, flags painted across their cheeks, streaked with sweat from cheering their pride aloud. Pictures went viral of the players kissing their wives and their husbands and embracing each other. It was their victory, but on news screens across America there was a sense of our win, as they stood representing our country with amazing physical prowess.

So when I read that the women’s team only brought home $2 million after WINNING the World Cup, which is less than the $9 million the men’s team received last year after losing in the FIRST ROUND, I needed to sit down for a minute. The winning German male team received $35 million for the championship. Say what?

In the gist of fair reporting, it can be said that the women took home a larger percentage of the prize pool as $576 million rested on the fate of the men’s and only $15 million on the women’s. In that respect the women pocketed around 11 percent of the revenue compared to the 6.6 percent awarded to the Germans. But, a larger percentage is still significantly less money. I still think the entire situation levels an important question: Why don’t we value our female athletes as much as we do our male ones?

The excuse I’ve seen thrown around for such a devaluation of their time and skills is that “viewership is not as high for women’s sports and it's not like people haven’t heard about the wage gap before.”

This lack of viewership can be due in part to several unfortunate factors according to analysts. Some want to argue that watching women play isn’t as interesting as watching men play because their games lack speed and intensity by comparison as a result of biology. One look at Carli Lloyd’s midfield goal should send that one to the grave.

A study called “Gender Stereotyping in Televised Sports”, linked for those interested, indicated that in television sports news women’s sports were “underreported and underrepresented…Men’s sports received 92 percent of the air time, women’s sports 5 percent, and gender neutral topics 3 percent.” It then goes on to say that while they did focus regularly on women, the focus was rarely on female athletes. “More common were portrayals of women as comical targets of the newscasters’ jokes and/or as sexual objects (e.g., women spectators in bikinis).” If that’s how women are being portrayed in relation to sports, rather than as highly capable athletes in and of themselves, there’s no wonder viewership is low.

Now, as for the presumed "known-about" wage gap, if you adjust the German men’s team’s $35 million earnings to reflect how much they’d make if they earned 74 cents on the dollar, they’d make almost $26 million dollars. Wow, still more than $2 million. By like a lot. Whoops.

This problem is not one found just in the World Cup, but across many athletic areas in which women take part, where an active effort to make changes has not been taken. A 1997 study of Division 1-A schools revealed that female athletes made almost $143 million less scholarship money than their male counterparts during the 1995-96 year. In the 2005 season a WNBA player's minimum salary was $89,000 and the salary cap for her team was $673,000. In the NBA during the same time period, the minimum salary was $385,277 and the team’s salary cap $46 million. Numbers like these are fairly common unfortunately.

There has, however, been some headway into the realms of equality in the sports world. The Women’s Tennis Association has ensured that all four Grand Slam tournaments have given equal prize money to men and women since 2007. In both 2005 and 2006 of the New York City Marathon, winner Jelena Prokopcuka took home $100,000 with a bonus of $30,000, equaling the largest purse in marathon history.

It's up to us to continue that progress by increasing attendance at women’s sporting events, encouraging television and news stations to cover all women’s sports (not just the beach volleyball upsets), and demanding that we give all of our athletes the same respect.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

80787
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

165370
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments