Last Friday, bringing up the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the US women’s soccer team filed an “institutionalized gender discrimination” lawsuit in opposition to the US Soccer Federation—and with exact cause. Not simplest is the girls’ football crew paid a good deal less than the guys’ group; they’re additionally no longer supplied with the identical standards when it comes to coaching, medical attention, and pitch best. (The guys play on actual grass, at the same time as the women’s group is consistently furnished with synthetic turf, which causes burns. The girls had been objecting to this double widespread for years, including a 2014 lawsuit against FIFA.)
Arguments have continuously been made that girls do not deserve the same pay in soccer because the men’s crew generates extra money. In a 2015 article titled “Equal Pay For Women World Cup Players? Seriously?” NBC Sports noted figures from 2011 when “the Women’s World Cup introduced in almost $ seventy-three million [and] the 2010 Men’s World Cup in South Africa made almost $four billion.” But these figures do not reflect what has happened over the years because. According to the New York Times, in 2016, the USA girls’ national group added in earnings of $6.6 million, while the men’s team controlled the best $2 million. What’s extra, among 2012 and 2016, the women performed substantially more games (now and again as a great deal as 50 percent greater) and earned two times as many wins as their male opposite numbers.
Even in case you ignore the growth in reputation of ladies’ soccer inside the previous few years, it’s not possible to fathom why male players are paid $ seventy-five an afternoon for fees, while woman players get hold of handiest $60, or why male players make $three,750 for sponsored appearances, while the lady gamers get hold of $3,000. Thus, at its core, this lawsuit has the ability to be as crucial for the destiny of girls’ soccer as Billie Jean King’s legendary combat for identical prize cash in tennis changed into.
Even if the lawsuit is successful although, there’s nevertheless a chief stumbling block standing in the manner of female athletic development: sports media. Even though women make up forty percent of all sports activities contributors, lady athletes acquire the handiest 3 to 4 percentage of media coverage, with enterprise giants like ESPN and Fox Sports granting them a paltry one to two percent air time. Moreover, according to 2015 studies, girls’ sports acquired much less TV insurance this decade than they did in the ’80s. It would not assist that during 2014, much less than 5 percent of sports anchors had been girls.
Not only does this disparity affect the quantity of cash offered to lady athletes in sponsorship offers, but it’s also a huge barrier to the accessibility—and consequently usual popularity—of women’s sports. Of the tiny fraction of airtime given to lady athletes, nearly 82 percent of its miles granted to basketball might be why WNBA’s reputation has been on the growth due to 2012. As lengthy as women’s sports activities are denied TV insurance, they’re usually going to be handled as fringe potentialities by using the agencies in their price.
University of Southern California professor, Michael Messner, stated in 2015: “We’ve had this awesome explosion of girls and girls going into sports inside the closing forty years… What’s difficult to us is that the increased hobby and participation in women’s sports has by no means been reflected in information and highlights indicates.”