Megan Rapinoe scores again.
Representatives from U.S. Soccer Federation have announced that men and women’s professional soccer players will receive the same pay, a move that AP News calls “a milestone.”
“In a first-of-its kind agreement for any Federation in the world, the Women’s and Men’s National Teams will pool and and share FIFA World Cup Prize money,” the announcement released by US Soccer reads.
BREAKING: U.S. Soccer announces ‘true equal pay,’ splitting World Cup revenue between men & women pic.twitter.com/Nq4pDdl9OC
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 18, 2022
“For the first time ever…”
“These historic deals…”
“…set the global standard moving forward…”
US Soccer Federation emphasizes the supposed historical significance here, and with good reason. It’s just not the reason they think.
USSF has to emphasize this “new phase of mutual growth and collaboration” between the men’s United States National Soccer Team and the United States Women’s National Team to distract us all from the fact that this is just woke sports disguised as equality.
But before we go there, let’s admit a few things here. First, there’s no denying that the USWNT has repeatedly delivered on the global stage. They won back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019, and fell just short of another World Cup to Japan back in 2011. Some of them may be anti-American and obnoxious, but they’re also good.
Meanwhile, the men didn’t even qualify for the World Cup in 2018. They made the semi-finals in 1930 and the quarter-finals in 2002, but that’s the extent of men’s World Cup success.
So the men’s USNST was never going to win in the court of public opinion on this. They have continually fallen short, while the women have continued to win. Now, the men and women will pool their World Cup earnings in 2022/23 and 2026/27 and divide them evenly amongst players of both sexes.
Adult males hardest hit. According to AP News, FIFA now allocates $440 million for the men’s World Cup and just $60 million for the women. According to SI, the men’s team earned $9 million for making it to the World Cup round of 16 in 2014, while the women earned just $4 million for winning it all in 2019. Pooling resources will mean the men take a tremendous pay cut and the women get the cut they deserve, to some extent.
Still, the women are not without risk here. During negotiations, USWNT players traded a guaranteed annual salary of $100,000 for a “pay-for-play” system.
Which is great, so long as they keep winning. However, the USWNT that has been so successful the last decade or so are beginning to age out. Former star Abby Wambach is 41 and retired after the 2015 win. Rapinoe, the leader of the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympic squad, will turn 38 next summer just before the 2023 World Cup begins.
So if the next generation of USWNT doesn’t continue to deliver, they may come to rue this new collective bargaining agreement.
In the mean time, we all know what this is really all about — another attempt to appease the woke mob at the expense of professional male soccer players and their families.
Not only did the USWNT recently settle a discrimination lawsuit with USSF for $24 million, but the men’s team has subsidized the women’s team for years. Though the USWNT may have more recognizable stars, overall revenue for professional soccer comes from men, and it’s not even close.
Sporting News states the obvious: “U.S. Soccer subsidizes the (National Women’s Soccer League), which would not exist without its financial support, whereas MLS is self-sufficient.”
Yet after the men’s USNSTPA and the USWNSTPA reached their supposedly historic agreement, Mark Levinstein, the men’s counsel, celebrated the fact that his clients will now receive considerably less in annual compensation:
“Together with the USWNTPA, the USMNT players achieved what everyone said was impossible — an agreement that provides fair compensation to the USMNT players and equal pay and equal working conditions to the USWNT players. The new federation leadership should get tremendous credit for working with the players to achieve these agreements.”
Cheering on a victory for the other side while practically apologizing for the group of men he represents. That’s about as woke as it gets.