Videos by OutKick
What in the world does the U.S. Women’s National Team losing at the Women’s World Cup have to do with socialism? Lucky for you, I’m going to explain! The USWNT fought in court for “equal pay” between its members and the USMNT from U.S. Soccer.
As I’ve written in the past, though, the lawsuit had little to do with “equal pay” and more to do with “we want more money.”
As part of the deal, though, the USWNT and the USMNT must now split prize money. When the USMNT reached the knockout stage of the World Cup in November, it earned $13 million. Half of that — or $6.5 million — went the US Women’s team. For doing nothing.
Because the men’s World Cup is far more popular globally than the women’s, the prizes are much larger. The USWNT won the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Combined, those wins earned $6 million.
So the team received more money thanks to the men reaching the Round of 16 than it did for winning back-to-back World Cup titles.
Now, FIFA has pushed for larger prizes on the women’s side. And, it is delivering on that promise. The total prize pool for the 2023 Women’s World Cup is $142 million. Of that pool, $10.5 million goes to the winning team.
Those are both records on the women’s side. However, the prize pool for the men was $440 million with $42 million going to champion Argentina.
So even if the USWNT had won the 2023 World Cup — which it obviously did not — it still would have earned $2.5 million less than the men.
And thanks to getting bounced in the Round of 16, the team receives just $3.3 million. So the total prize pool for U.S. Soccer — which is split evenly between the USWNT and the USMNT — is $16.3 million.
The men’s team earned 80% of that money. But it only receives 50% of it. That seems fair, huh?
And that brings us back to the headline for this article. From a financial perspective, the 2015 and 2019 women’s teams relied on winning the World Cup to make money. The players were hungry. No surprise, those teams played far better.
But this year’s version already got paid. And, sure, the players wanted to win more money.
But they didn’t NEED to.
And their performance reflected that. The USWNT didn’t score a single goal in their final two World Cup matches. Not one.
Yet, after their shocking draw against Portugal that forced the team into playing Sweden in the Round of 16, they were dancing and smiling.
This is not to say that the only reason the USWNT did not win the World Cup — or even advance out of the Round of 16 — is because of the prize-splitting policy.
But it sure is an interesting coincidence that the USWNT’s worst World Cup finish EVER came in the first World Cup since that decision came down.
Are they related? Maybe, maybe not.
But we know socialism doesn’t work. It especially doesn’t work in sports, the ultimate meritocracy.
Furthermore, if I were on the USMNT, I’d be pissed. The players have to give up half their prize money for this women’s team?
The same women’s team that practically didn’t even show up? Didn’t score a goal in two matches?
That’s not “equal pay.”
That’s the USWNT stealing money from the USMNT in the name of “progress.”
Great system, isn’t it?
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak