Women’s equality is an anomaly


S'Nia Tribble

Forty percent of all sports participants are female, yet women’s sports receive only 4% of all sport media coverage.

Amelia Perusse, Staff Writer

One small step for women, one giant leap for gender equality. Women in sports are making their way to equal pay.

 “Despite all of the wins, I am still paid less than men who do the same job that I do,” testified Megan Rapinoe, a professional soccer player and Olympic gold medalist. “For each trophy — of which there are many — for each win, each tie and for each time that we play, it’s less.” 

  Rapinoe’s testimony, which took place at the White House in 2021 marking March 24 as National Equal Pay Day, showed that regardless of your status or profession in the world, all women are subject to gender pay inequities.

Back in 2016,  five women from  the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed two claims on behalf of the entire USWNT. The two claims had to do with unequal pay and gender discrimination. The goal was to eradicate gender based pay and equal working conditions. By the end of 2019, 28 USWNT players united to fight legally, and the USWNT, in turn, filed a lawsuit in federal court. In 2021, the claim for working conditions was settled but the claim based upon gender inequality was not settled until six years later in February 2022. The USWNT received $22 million  in order to relieve their equal pay claim along with an extra $2 million  to help women with their goals and charitable efforts that revolved around soccer.The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) came to an agreement that going forward, women would be paid equally for tournaments including the World Cup.

“I feel like women should be able to have equal pay in sports because both genders are playing the same sport at the same skill level,” noted Madison Gould who is a senior on the girls varsity soccer team at Palm Beach Central. “One gender is not better than the other when it comes down to the sports.”

The USWNT has brought a lot to the table within the past few decades and continues to bring consistent success. The USWNT has won four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. It is important to note that the USWNT is ranked first in the world for women’s soccer while men are ranked at number fifteen. The USWNT has also brought notably higher success rates, sponsorship, and popularity which has been greater than the US men’s soccer team.

Margaret Purse is a 25 year old executive director of Black Women’s Player Collective which is an organization fueled by the motive of giving women athletes of color a voice when it comes to issues including inequity, was first to speak at the White House event next to Rapinoe and commented,  “You would never expect a flower to bloom without water, but women in sport who have been denied water, sunlight and soil are somehow expected to blossom. Invest in women, then let’s talk again when you see the return.”

 President Biden assured Purse and Rapinoe that he was going to do everything in his power to make sure his administration fought for equal pay. Biden believed that equal pay made all of us stronger. He recognized how real the pay gap was and how women were affected by their careers.

“And this team is living proof that you can be the very best at what you do and still have to fight for equal pay.” Biden noted at the Equal Pay Event. 

As a side note,  in 1921 England’s football association banned women from their league due to them thinking that football was unsuitable for women. In reality, male athletes were envious that women’s games drew larger crowds.

Women have been fighting for equal pay for a very long time in sports. Although this fight for equal pay in women’s soccer is only a small step towards equal pay between men and women in the sports industry it is one that will pave the way for other women in many different sport careers forever.