As we’re reporting today, a group of U.S. lawmakers, all Democrats, are strongly urging the U.S. Soccer Federation to improve pay equity between their men and women.
In a letter this week, the senators said the great success of the U.S. Women’s soccer team means, “U.S. Women’s National Team members deserve to be paid at least as much as their male counterparts.”
You already know 28 members of the U.S. women’s team are suing over this very issue.
Now, I’m probably going to come off a bit like “the bad guy”, but as a former athlete, I am compelled to share some thoughts on this subject.
When I hear about female athletes calling for equal pay, I just cannot help but be taken back to when I was a kid, horse playing with my little sister. We would play all kinds of different games, often requiring a healthy dose of physical strength or stamina.
Needless to say, I would always win. My sister hated losing and she complained about it a lot. But alas, I was 10 inches taller, 80 pounds heavier, and much faster.
Of course, I would let my little sister win. I loved doing that because it made her so happy. She was great too, she never bragged about it, because she knew it would be very hard to win the next time.
The simple fact of the matter is, when it comes to physical competition, the best male competitor is going to beat the best female competitor 9 times out of 10.
Okay, perhaps 8 times out of 10. But that IS — simply the way it IS.
Now, considering the current situation with U.S. Women’s Soccer, there is a very important question at play.
How exactly should this disparity in physical ability be represented in dollars?
I don’t know the answer to that. But I can certainly understand anyone who feels uncomfortable with the notion that it should be absolutely equal — when in real life, on the field, it is absolutely not equal.
If the U.S. women played against other national men’s teams, they would not do well. The U.S. women would also most likely get beat by the U.S. men (probably 8 times out of 10)
Now, all that said, women who put in the blood, sweat, and tears — the women who win championships — absolutely deserve to “get out what they put in” and I greatly respect what these women choose to do.
I just don’t know what that should look like in dollars.
I think it’s a very important conversation and I hope we continue having it.