At the end of March, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed a wage-discrimination action against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The team has achieved a great amount of success in recent years, topped off by their victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Through their play and the excitement around the team during that time, they generated approximately $20 million more than their counterparts on the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) last year. However, the women were only paid a quarter off the wages that the mean were paid.
How does this make sense? What logical reason could there be for the women to be paid less than the men? Athletes are often paid based on their performances. Following that logic, the women should be making more money than the men. The USMNT has put together a solid team that competes at a decent level with the rest of the world, but the USWNT are on top of the soccer world. Few teams come close to having a chance against them.
Reasonably so, the women are upset about the disparity between the wages each team is paid. At least some of the USMNT agree that the wages should be more fair, as USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard has stated that the USMNT “understand and appreciate” the USWNT fighting for equal rights.
A few days later after the action was filed, USWNT star Abby Wambach was arrested for a DUI charge. A few members of the USMNT took advantage of the opportunity to take some shots at her for previous comments she made about USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann starting to play more foreign-born Americans. Alejandro Bedoya tweeted that the DUI, “must’ve been a foreign American player’s fault.” Jozy Altidore followed up with a tweet that read, “should’ve used one of the team vans”, referencing an incident where USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo’s husband was driving a team van with her in it and was arrested for a DUI.
These comments seem to show a possible rift between the USMNT and the USWNT. However, Klinsmann stated a few days later that there are no issues between the two sides. He said that they “are big friends” and are “getting really well along”. Klinsmann’s comment could be a cover, just an official statement to save face for each side.
With these recent events, it’s difficult to tell the current relationship between the USMNT and USWNT. While they have their differences, they have historically been supportive of each other. Hopefully, these tensions will be resolved in a favorable manner so the sides can come to good terms.