USWNT Makes More than USMNT? US Soccer Claims Unfair Pay to Men

USWNT Makes More Than USMNT USSF says so

Clay Travis Thinks the USWNT Makes More than USMNT

When the opening lines of an article about a compelling topic use the words “victims”, “facts”, “feelings” and “the good fight”, it falls flat. This is exactly what sparked the discussion about the USWNT and USMNT pay.

I know we live in an era when everyone wants to be a victim and facts don’t matter, but notwithstanding this sad trend I continue to fight the good fight and bring you facts instead of feelings.

Clay Travis, OKTC

I know, I know, it’s sexist of me to actually share facts that contradict a victimization narrative in 2019. How dare I?

Clay Travis, OKTC

Good lord, the men are getting screwed here.

Clay Travis, OKTC

Now, aside from some cringe-worthy quotes, Clay Travis actually believes that there is a pay gap in soccer. He does admit that things are unfair. But, Travis believes that it is unfair to the men. He thinks that the USWNT makes more than the USMNT. Additionally, Travis claims that the US Women earn more money without producing as much revenue.

Now, it’s tough to blame Clay Travis when he got all of his “facts” from US Soccer.

Now these are, importantly, all the funds provided by US soccer.

Clay Travis, OKTC

As seen above, Travis got all of his facts from a single source. One source. And on top of that, all of it came from US Soccer. That is baffling. Especially for a journalist. Everyone, no matter whether they are a journalist, lawyer or regular Joe/Jane, should learn from this. It is necessary to view facts and arguments from both sides of an argument. Ignoring the opposition in order to defend morality and non-sexism is ultimately how sexism continues to perpetuate society.

Remember, Facts are Complicated and Can Be Spun in Both Directions
Are fans misguided in their equal pay chants?

Those arguing against paying women equally are quick to argue:

  • Women earn a higher percentage of prize money than men in World Cups
  • USWNT have benefits like health insurance, sick leave and 401k’s that men don’t
  • US Soccer said that the women earned more, while producing less
  • It’s all about revenue. Women’s sports don’t create as much revenue
  • The women agreed to their collective bargaining agreement and should stop complaining

But, as noted in a previous Unafraid Show article, it’s much more complicated than that. A deeper dive is needed into the role of revenue, sponsors, and pay.

“That’s something never really analyzed.” “What is the potential value of the Women’s World Cup? Nobody knows the Women’s World Cup commercial value because it’s not sold separately. This is something that should at least be discussed.”Tatiana Haenni, former FIFA head of women’s soccer

Tatiana Haenni, former FIFA head of women’s soccer

The former head of FIFA women’s soccer says that the financials are not clearly separated. So, because of this FIFA revenue isn’t black and white. More financials are needed, but they’re not readily available to the public.

Facts from US Soccer’s Carlos Cordeiro

In addition, the numbers provided by US Soccer’s President Carlos Cordeiro and cited by Clay Travis are strictly from 2010-2018. Why not give a larger or smaller data set? Why these years? Perhaps to fit a narrative.

Cordeiro states that the USWNT made more than the USMNT from 2010 to 2018. In particular, they said that the USWNT earned $34.1 million in salaries and bonuses, which is nearly $8 million more than the men’s $26.4 million. He continued by arguing that the USWNT only produced $101.3 million, compared to the USMNT’s $185.7 million. Is this a true fact? Well, yes and no.

Differences in Pay Structures and Performance

First off, this calculation includes NWSL salaries. Currently, US Soccer pays for club salaries of USWNT players. Unlike their counterparts, male players are strictly on a “pay-for-play” structure. While the USWNT argues that this should not be counted, it is definitely an inclusion by those against them. Additionally, these numbers ignore how dominant the women have been.

From 2010 to 2018, here are their compared numbers:

  • USWNT: 190 games, 151 wins, 18 losses, 21 draws, 79-percent win rate
  • USMNT: 151 games, 77 wins, 44 losses, 30 draws, 51-percent win rate

This also ignores the fact that the men MISSED out on the 2018 World Cup. That alone would have raised their pay significantly. So, the USWNT make more than the USWMT? Kind of. Yes, according to the US Soccer figures, they made more than the men from 2010 to 2018. But, they also played more games and earned more bonuses from wins. The USWNT played in 13 World Cup matches during that time, winning 12 and drawing 1. Contrastly, the men played in 8, winning two, losing three and drawing three. So, of course, they should have made more. However, they shouldn’t have to be the best team in the world for a decade just to edge out a middling-national team (USMNT).

Remain Skeptical

Also, remember these numbers are also handpicked by US Soccer and President Cordeiro. Why 2010 to 2018? What about 2014 to July of 2019? Why not include the USWNT’s back to back World Cup cycles? When looking at the three years following the 2015 World Cup win, the women’s team produced a net of $27,544,953, compared to $3,130,980. Additionally, recall that the USWNT broke a flurry of records and proved themselves in both viewership and revenue. Since the 2015 World Cup win, the USWNT is producing more total revenue than the USMNT. Their home kit also became Nike’s best online-selling jersey in a single season. On top of that, according to Fanatics, the 2019 women’s team is the top-selling national soccer team, men or women. With all that said, it appears that Corderio’s numbers are hand-picked.

Remember, heavy skepticism should be placed in lawsuit facts and figures.

Apples to Apples

Also, all of these numbers ignore the simplest ones. When games are compared apples to apples, the men make drastically more than the women. Comparing the two structures as-is is not the point because of the different pay structures. The USWNT has a base salary, while the men are paid for matches and performance.

“The USSF fact sheet is not a ‘clarification.’ It is a ruse. Here is what they cannot deny. For every game a man plays on the MNT he makes a higher base salary payment than a woman on the WNT. For every comparable win or tie, his bonus is higher. That is the very definition of gender discrimination. For the USSF to believe otherwise, is disheartening but it only increases our determination to obtain true equal pay.”

Molly Levinson, USWNT Spokeswoman

Because of the differences in their pay structures, it’s difficult to clearly assess. Of note, the USWNT are vying for equal pay structures. Men earn considerably higher roster and game bonuses when compared to women. Do the USWNT make more than the USMNT on a per-game basis? No, and that’s what they want. They desire a CBA that is consistent with the men.

Do the women get different benefits that the men don’t. Yes. And that can’t be ignored either. Unlike the men, the USWNT earn year-long salaries and have their club (NWSL) salaries paid by US Soccer. This is true. They also receive health benefits that the USMNT does not. And, if the US Soccer reports are true, the USWNT make more than the USMNT on a macro scale. All of these need to be considered when weighing the arguments of equal pay.

USWNT Had to Be the Best to Out-Earn USMNT

However, it is very important to remember that the USWNT was (and still is) the best women’s national team in the world for the better part of a decade. Out-earning the men is most likely due to wins and bonus money. For goodness sake, from 2010-2018, the USWNT won match after match and lifted trophy after trophy:

  • World Cup Champions: 2015
  • World Cup Runner-Up: 2011
  • Olympic Games Gold: 2012
  • CONCACAF Championship and Gold Cup Champions: 2014, 2018
  • CONCACAF Championship and Gold Cup: 2010
  • CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Champions: 2012, 2016
  • Algarve Cup Champions: 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • Four Nations Tournament Champions: 2011
  • SheBelieves Cup Champions: 2016, 2018
  • Tournament of Nations Champions: 2018

Unlike the USMNT from 2010 to 2018, the women were incredible. With their 2019 World Cup repeat, they continue to display excellence. So, it would make sense that the best team in the world for a decade would out-earn their middling cousin. They earned bonuses and prize money that the men couldn’t. Again, that is all on a macro scale, displayed only through the sample-set of data given by US Soccer.

Equal Investment and Equal Care for USWNT and USMNT

But, as Megan Rapinoe stated, it’s about more than just looking at compensation.

In a broad sense, it’s about equal investment and equal care of both the men’s and women’s sides. Whether it’s youth team programs, marketing, the branding of the team, how they sell tickets, what they spend advertising money on, what they pay each side, what they spend on support staff, what they spend on coaching, what’s the travel budget — it’s all of that. The compensation is sort of the last big part.

Megan Rapinoe

That’s what the USWNT want. Equal pay doesn’t mean that the women can out-earn the men IF they are the number-one team in the world for a decade. Instead, equal pay would mean that the women and men would have the same structure in addition to, as Rapinoe states, equal care and investment.

As this lawsuit continues to develop and as more information comes out, remember to skeptically view the facts and figures from both sides.

Tucker Carlson Wants to End the War on Scrubs. As a Scrub, I say “What War?”

Tucker Carlson Fox News

I remember how hard it used to be to convince my wife to join Twitter. About the sixth time during each day that I’d burst into an immature cackle while scrolling through my feed, she’d roll her eyes, and I’d take that as my cue to try and convince her that Twitter was indeed a public good. I’d exalt the virtues of its use during instances of government suppression during the Arab Spring, or point out its real-time efficiency in figuring out traffic issues (people love to tweet about traffic while in traffic), but she knew the truth. I was in it for the nonsense.

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t have taken up the task of persuading her to join the fray. For one, I’d be able to avoid seeing all the Kliff Kingsbury-related tweets she favorites. (Apparently, he’s good looking?) But the biggest reason I regret my wife’s presence on Twitter is that she recently alerted me to a piece of video that has launched me into a tailspin of mind-numbing internal debate and dissonance.

“Studies Show”…

Maybe you’ve seen it, and perhaps I’m just reopening old wounds, but Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson recently let this bit of “wisdom” fly:

“Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them but they don’t. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out of wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow, more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarcerations rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.”

Here’s the point that Tucker Carlson was trying to make, summed up. White rural modern families now resemble urban families of the 1980s in that there’s rampant male unemployment, a drug epidemic, and an increased rate of births out of wedlock. And his culprit? Women making more money than men.
“This is not speculation; it’s not propaganda… it’s social science. We know it’s true.” Carlson opined, without citing any of the studies he so confidently referenced.
And who did Tucker Carlson blame for his assertion that poor white men can’t afford to put a ring on it? Rich, married folks.
“Here’s the bewildering and infuriating part. The very same affluent married people, the ones who make virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get, and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo, but working to raise men’s wages in Dayton of Detroit? That’s crazy. This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it’s still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.”

Modern Family

I don’t know where to start here. I suppose I’ll define where I’m coming from. I’m a work-from-home dad supporting a spouse whose income at her second job greatly outweighs my primary income. I know that on the whole, there’s little value in anecdotes, so take it for what it’s worth when I say I’m not just content in my complimentary role to my spouse, but that I feel, as much as anyone with four kids can, that we’re thriving. I mean, we’re drowning in life’s unceasing avalanche of responsibility, but as far as drowning goes, I feel like we’re doing a decent job. If we were on a metaphorical drowning talent show, I like to think Simon Cowell would be impressed.
Anyway, I’m happy. So maybe it’s the fact that I can’t relate that causes these comments to fail to resonate with me. Or perhaps it’s that I tend to be on the conservative side of things politically, which is where I thought Tucker Carlson resided. It’s hard for me to place the blame for society’s woes on the fact that women aren’t falling all over themselves to wear a white gown and recite vows across from “Cletus the unskilled laborer,” who grew up residing in a manufacturing graveyard and refused to pivot so he could support himself, much less an eventual theoretical family.

Correlation or Causation?

Is my gender having a crisis? Sure. And we always have been. The fact that some women make some money now isn’t the root of our ills. Correlation doesn’t prove causation. I seem to remember learning that one of the things that historically hyper-accelerates women’s participation in the workforce are the wars we testosterone-possessing Homo sapiens show an affinity for both generating and participating in.
There’s nothing more emasculating to me than Tucker Carlson’s assertion that the L’s that the male gender has been collecting aren’t even L’s that we earned. We’re all just victims in a dark timeline, and the reason we’re strung out on the trailer sofa, playing Xbox, and waiting for the coal mine to reopen, is so that we can at least enter some kind of tunnel since the fairer sex has abandoned us. And it’s all because some well-adjusted suburban couple was busy helping reduce the global malaria death rate 48% from 2000-2015. Those charitable bastards.

Is He Right?

Maybe Tucker Carlson is right. I mean, he isn’t. This is an aggressively anti-woman diatribe that also manages to make America’s men completely dependent on government assistance to get them a job and a partner. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that he at the very least has a point about the fact that women should be attracted to men who don’t make a whole lot of money.
I mean, that’s something I’m not going to spend too much time fighting him on. Especially since it worked out for me. My wife seems to have failed to heed the words of Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, who once famously said, “Wanna get with me, with no money, oh no, I don’t want no scrub.”
I suppose another option for our gender would be to man up while manning up still implies exerting effort in order to overcome adversity. We could learn and develop marketable skills in order to attract a mate, and help take care of the kids we sire. Maybe we can stop acting like scrubs altogether?
But why would we do that when our TV talking heads are hanging out the passenger side of their Fox News ride, trying to holler that there’s someone else to blame?