By Bryce Maxim
XTRA 106.3FM, ATLANTA – In a move that feminists are hailing as a “new era in equal pay,” the US Women’s National Soccer Team will now be awarded the same prize money as as their male counterparts in World Cup Tournaments. From now through at least 2028, future World Cup Tournament appearance winnings will be the same for men and women playing for the United States.
How was this parity achieved? After all, this has been a problem that has been allowed to perpetuate for years! What economic change facilitated this step forward in equal pay? No. Did their player’s union negotiate a better television deal? No. Did they work out a larger compensation deal with FIFA, the governing body for World Cup Soccer? Again, no.
The answer was simple. They resorted to theft by picking the pockets of the male US World Cup soccer players.
The deal they cut with the union representing the men’s team basically takes from the larger payouts the men’s team earnes in the World Cup Tournament and pools it with the women’s lesser World Cup payouts. It is then distributed evenly among the players.
“Why shouldn’t the women get more money”, say the advocates for equal pay, “after all they won the World Cup 4 times and the men have yet to win once.”
Sorry. It’s not that simple.
FIFA determines the total amount of pool money available to win in both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments. This is based on audience size, the amount of revenue that can be generated from game sponsorships, and tv broadcast rights. As the men’s teams win and progress, they earn a larger share of the total prize money with a championship delivering the men’s team a payout of $42 million for them to split. Conversely, the women’s tournament has a $3 million payout for the champions because the audience for their games is significantly less.
Since revenue for these tournaments is based upon audience size and the number of people an advertiser can place ads in front of, how do the world audiences for men’s and women’s soccer compare? Let’s go to FIFA’s data.
– The total reach for the 2018 Men’s World Cup tournament in Russia was 3.2 billion people and for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, it was 1.12 billion, just 1/3 of the men’s total audience.
– The men’s final game brought in an audience of 1.12 billion people which is equal to the audience of the ENTIRE women’s tournament. By the way, the women’s final had a live audience of 82.18 million.
– The average men’s match brought in about 516 million viewers compared to the women’s average of 263.62 million.
– Total viewing hours for the Men’s World Cup: 34.7 billion. For the Women’s World cup: 2.49 billion.
By every viewer metric, the men’s World Cup tournament is dominating the women’s by massive amounts. For this reason, the total award money available to the men is going to be far higher. Bigger audiences draw exponentially more advertising and sponsorship money. It’s abundantly clear that FIFA’s viewer data shows the men’s tournament to be the more valuable of the two events resulting in a richer pot for teams to draw from.
“But the US Women’s team won the World Cup 4 times”, their advocates proclaim, “They deserve to get more money!”
I won’t argue that point. They probably should be paid more because success should be rewarded. However that’s an issue that should be taken up with FIFA instead of penalizing US Men’s soccer players by seizing a portion of their money simply because they play in a more lucrative league.
US female soccer players can believe they are “victims” of an “oppressive system” that’s denies them the equal pay for equal work all they want, but it still doesn’t entitle them to seize a dime from their male counterparts!
And what about that “equal pay for equal work” argument being used as the justification for this theft?
It’s true that both men’s and women’s teams are playing soccer, both are composed of people equally dedicated to their sport, and both teams feature highly skilled players.
However, they’re not playing the same game.
The men’s game is faster, more physically demanding and requires a higher skill level to play than the women’s game.
That could be perceived as a “ridiculous and sexist statement” were it not for a pair of games played in 2017 by the US and Australian women’s teams.
That year, the US World Cup soccer team played a “tune up scrimmage” against an under 15 boys club in preparation for a match against the Russian women’s national team. They lost to the boys 5-2.
That same year, the World #5 Ranked Australian Women’s National Soccer team lost a similar match 7-0 to one composed of 15 year old boys.
In both contests, the women were outplayed, out scored and out matched by teenage opponents. Granted these boys teams were composed of “elite” players, but they were STILL high school sophomores and were still more than the women’s teams could handle.
But if these women still believe their skill set deserves prize money equal to that in the men’s tournament, then they should play for the men’s World Cup soccer team. Play soccer at that level and you too will get the money. As a matter of fact, if a woman ever did become a member of the US Men’s World cup team, she’d instantly become the highest paid player in the sport! Before she kicked ball one in a tournament, endorsement deals would generate that woman tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars!
Not possible, you say? Women cannot compete directly with men in sports because men are just physically stronger?
IndyCar / NASCAR racer Danica Patrick might say otherwise.
In her racing career she amassed a net worth of about 80 million dollars through race earnings and endorsements. Not once did she ever receive a race payout less than her male counterparts.
Because Danica did the same job, at the same skill level, under the same track conditions, with the same cars, and under the same rules. For this, she earned the same amount of money as her male counterparts.
That’s what equal work for equal pay looks like.
In the long run, this income redistribution scheme will backfire. American, male soccer players with the highest skill sets will not work their asses off just so some random woman can seize a huge chunk of his paycheck like it is some “soccer baby mama” alimony payment! Those athletes will play for another country’s team that gives them 100% of their earnings or they’ll completely pass on participating.
The ones that do submit to the seizure of their earnings will be second tier in their abilities at best. Thankfully this will result in quicker tournament departures for the US Men’s Soccer Team and less income for the women to steal.
When the tournaments are done, the cheers have all subsided and the US Men’s Team money has been redistributed to the leeches on the US Women’s Team, a delicious, irony will remain.
Delusional, dopey, woke US female soccer players who think that seizing the men’s income is a step forward for female athletes, equity pay, and financial empowerment are mistaken. Theirs is not a show of the strength of women in soccer.
It’s proof of their total dependence on men for their financial security.
“Sugar Daddy Soccer” anyone?