By Tessa Jackson
Big news this week for women’s sports! After a six-year battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team finally reached a $24 million settlement in their gender-pay discrimination lawsuit. Not only will they receive the $24 million in back pay, the U.S. Soccer Federation also pledged to pay the men’s and women’s teams equally moving forward.
Yes, equity for women’s soccer has been a long time coming, especially since the women’s team has been completely dominant on the world scene and the men have been terrible. Since the first FIFA World Cup in 1991, the U.S. women’s team has won more championships than any other country, with four wins. They have also won four Olympic gold medals. The best the men’s team has ever done in the World Cup was third place, way back in 1930. And worse than that, they’ve only qualified for the World Cup ten times since then.
While this deal does hinge on a new player’s agreement, the U.S. Soccer Federation has agreed to pay the women and the men, from the rate of pay to the bonuses, equally moving forward. America should be proud we have the most dominant female team on earth, and, finally, it feels like we are showing them we are. We all love and support our girls when they play high school sports, but it feels like the second they become professional, we tell them they are boring and not as competitive as the men.
So, now we need to tackle the problem of how to get people to watch women’s sports? And, I’m not trying to be funny. I don’t watch a lot of women’s sports; they don’t even put them on TV most of the time. If I want to watch the WNBA, I have to pay for the league pass. Then I have to watch the games on my phone because they don’t have an app for any “smart” TVs either. And because watching basketball on your phone is terrible, I usually just don’t watch it. Is the problem that not enough women like sports? Or if they do like sports they aren’t as obsessed by them as many male sports fans are? And don’t get me wrong, there are lots of women who like sports, but you all know they aren’t a majority.
Anyway, this has kind of turned into a rant, and I’ve run out of time to write about anything else. So I’m just going to sign off for this week; I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful snow!