New York City will host a ticker-tape parade for the winning FIFA Women’s World Cup winners this Wednesday after the United States (US) successfully retained their title as World Champions by defeating the Netherland’s in Sunday’s final.
It took no time at all after that final whistle for the conversation to immediately shift to questions around gender equality in sport, particularly around equal pay.
All 28 members of the winning US team are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination and unequal pay with the men’s team.
It was the US team’s back-to-back World Cup triumph and their fourth overall.
As they took a victory lap on the field, chants of “equal pay” from their adoring fans, especially when FIFA President, Giovanni Infantino, took to the pitch.
Co-captain Megan Rapinoe, says, “It (the pay) certainly should be more and I think that, yes, I do not even know how to answer that question, but I think there needs to be a big investment in the women’s game. So, maybe for once, like God forbid, we would be overpaid, maybe that could just, maybe that could just happen like one time and then we will see how it goes from there.”
Although the calculations are complicated based on bonus incentives and so forth, according to reports, players in the women’s national team would earn about 250 000 dollars for winning the World Cup compared to about 1.1 million for each player in the men’s team.
FIFA’s prize money for the 2019 Women’s World Cup was 30 million dollars vs 400 million dollars for the men’s edition in 2018.
In June, the US Soccer Federation and the Women’s National Team reportedly tentatively agreed to pursue mediation at the conclusion of the World Cup.
Rapinoe was asked if she heard the crowd chanting.
“Yes, definitely heard that as we were kind of lining up on the … I mean, I think it is just everybody; everybody is ready for it; everybody wants it; everybody is ready for the conversation to move to the next piece and to have something like that and, you know, obviously in the biggest match. That went so far beyond anything, sport. It was pretty incredible.”
A public feud between Rapinoe and President Donald Trump emerged when the former said she would refuse to go to the White House if invited, prompting President Trump to tweet that Rapinoe should win first before she talks.
Trump was asked about equal pay this weekend near his helicopter Marine One.
“To do, that you also have to look at numbers because when you look at World Cup soccer, that’s one thing, but you also have to look at soccer, professional soccer, you have to see who’s taking in what. So, I don’t know what those numbers are. I would like to see that, but again, you have to look at the great stars of the men’s soccer; the great stars of the women’s soccer, and you have to see year round how are they all drawing.”
Candidates running for the 2020 Democratic nomination also weighed in with Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeting that the women’s team deserved equal pay while former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris and others have all called for the gender pay gap in sport to be closed, among them Julian Castro.
“I would do several things starting with something we should’ve done a long time ago which is to pass the Equal Rights Amendment finally in this country. And, also pursue legislation so that women are paid equal pay for equal work in this country.”
United Nations (UN) Women says that worldwide women make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, pointing to a lifetime of income inequality between men and women disproportionately forcing women to retire into poverty.
The UN entity signed a memorandum of understanding with FIFA to combine forces to realize gender equality for women both on and off the pitch.