OPINION: Women’s national soccer team deserves more pay than men


Dante Centofanti NEW Headshot

Dante Centofanti

Soccer is rarely at the epicenter of American sports culture. U.S. soccer has steadily gained popularity throughout this decade, and the main reason for that is the women’s national team.

With March being Women’s History Month, there was no better way to show women’s empowerment than what our nation’s female soccer team did.

On March 8, the team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation over gender discrimination that they say has existed for years.

According to the New York Times, the discrimination the athletes face affects their paychecks, how often and where they play, medical treatment, coaching and even how they travel to matches.

This lawsuit in the U.S. district court in Los Angeles comes three months before the team will defend their World Cup title in France.

One of the prominent issues in sports is that female professional athletes aren’t paid the same in terms of salaries of male professional athletes.

To be honest, I never thought this would be an issue with the U.S. women’s national team because players are box office in every aspect of sports theatre.

I am not saying the WNBA and professional softball should not be paid equally because, bottom line, they should.

It’s all professional sports, but the U.S. women’s national team has always been a special driving force.

Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have all been inspirations to generations of young female athletes. 

This team not only is the pinnacle of women empowerment in female team sports, but they are also the pinnacle of winning at the highest level.

With all this being said, the women’s national team doesn’t just deserve to be paid the same as the men’s; it should be paid more.

In the global soccer community, our brand of the sport has always been looked at negatively.

The only reason we’re not a total joke is because of the near three decade-long dominance of the women.

With the most World Cup titles in the women’s game, followed by countless Olympic gold medals, this team is always flourishing at the highest level.

It would be negligent if I didn’t acknowledge the successes the men’s team has had. Christian Pulisic is showcasing his talent in a prominent European soccer league, and Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and the great Tim Howard were amazing talents. But to quote Taylor Twellman, “What are we doing!?”

The men’s team has rarely gotten past group play in its history in the World Cup and was absent from last year’s tournament in Russia.

You mean to tell me that a team that does next to nothing on the biggest stage in the sport is being paid more than a team that always succeeds on the biggest stage and generates more attention to American soccer globally?

To me this is an absolute injustice, and simply not fair.

The women’s national team has every right to not only sue, but not participate in this summer’s World Cup.

Professional sports are professional sports! It doesn’t matter if you don’t watch female sports. Professional athletes should be paid like professional athletes. Hopefully the legendary group of athletes that is the U.S. soccer women’s national team will shed light on this with their intelligence and resume of greatness.

Contact Dante Centofanti

at [email protected].