Equal Pay, Equal Rights

Former player Abby Wambach, talking in front of Congress about the Women’s Team paycheck. (Provide by Creative Commons.)

After a six-year battle to even the playing field financially for their sport, the United States Women Soccer Team and their members have finally been given a paycheck equivalent to their male counterparts. In 2016, a federal pay complaint was filed by five players on the team. They stated that they were being paid thousands of dollars less than the men’s team at every level of competition. 

The same complaint was filed three years later by 28 female players after they had won their second national tournament and the men didn’t qualify. In 2022, they won the lawsuit, asking for a total of $66 million dollars, and only received $22 from ESPN Sports. An additional $2 million was added in for post-career goals and charitable efforts to add up to a total of $24 million. 

Freshman Claire Thompson, who has been playing the sport for 11 years and is currently a part of the Woodgrove Girls Varsity team, is excited at the prospect of equal pay for women on the team after having looked up to them for so long. “Just knowing that they [Women’s National Soccer Team] are finally getting the recognition and pay that they deserve is exciting,” says Thompson.

Soccer Coach John Sharples says, “The women’s team works hard and their program is a lot more successful than the men’s, so I would hope they get paid the same or maybe a little more for the extra work they’re putting in.”

The average net worth of someone on the team is around $3 million, but previously, it was around $1.1. Overall, the Women’s National Soccer Team finally achieved their goal.