As the siren signalled the end of the FIFA World Cup final 59,000 spectators leapt to their feet and began chanting: EQUAL PAY! EQUAL PAY! EQUAL PAY!
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) July 7, 2019
It is mesmerising, powerful and goose-bump inducing footage to behold.
It is hard to imagine, even a few years back, this response being elicited enmasse at a major sporting fixture. Yet the remarkable reality, in this moment in history, is that it’s impossible to consider that not being the response.
1 billion people watched #FIFAWWC this year. The ‘99-ers not only paved the way for this #USWNT’s success, but they also began the fight for equal pay some 20 years ago. Collective voices cannot be ignored! #EqualPay #PayThem
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 8, 2019
As one meme aptly puts it, they doesn’t merely want or deserve equal pay for equal play – they deserve equal pay for superior play. And nearly every broadsheet in America is editorialising the same.
Lauren Peace writes, “As the final whistle blew on Sunday afternoon, we were reminded of an America in which women can fight for equal pay and better working conditions and have a stadium of thousands chanting right alongside them” https://t.co/lLGBIISgrb
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 8, 2019
In the New York Times:
“For American soccer fans, the juxtaposition was hard to ignore: the United States women’s team winning a record fourth World Cup championship in France, its men’s counterpart falling to its bitter rival Mexico hours later in a regional championship in Chicago.
The two results Sunday were not a mere collision of games: they also highlighted a contentious battle about pay equality featuring the men’s teams and women’s teams, the different media and financial ecosystems in which they compete, and the often unequal rewards for success for male and female athletes.”
From The Post’s Editorial Board: The U.S. women’s soccer team has more than earned equal pay https://t.co/InWl6iZqaV
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 8, 2019
Some rely on comparisons as a justification for the ongoing discrepancy between the earnings of men and women in sport.
But as the Washington Post pointed out there are a few comparisons where it’s clear women are being undersold. Big time.
“On Monday Nike reported the U.S. women’s team home jersey has become the No. 1 soccer jersey — male or female — ever sold on the company’s website in one season. According to the Wall Street Journal, the national women’s team’s games have generated more revenue than the men’s since their World Cup victory in 2015. This year, U.S. viewers watched the women’s team victory in record numbers. “
They deserve equal pay – and then some. The momentum around the battle for equal pay in sport isn’t just limited to soccer nor America.
Both will be held as stand-alone tournaments in Australia and if there is a discrepancy between the prizemoney available for the men and women’s sides, it’s believed CA will rectify it.
It comes as the Southern Stars, Australia’s women’s cricket side, are demolishing England in The Ashes right now.
Ellyse Perry claimed the best-ever figures for an Australian player in Women's ODI cricket of 7-22.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 7, 2019
Ellyse Perry recorded the best ever One Day figures for an Australian woman with taking 7 wickets for 22.
In which I get to name one of my three favourite Betties. In this case it is the incomparable cricketer Betty Wilson. I also love Betty Harris (the uncrowned queen of soul). And my lovely Aunty Betty. https://t.co/gzDdl5rrBS
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) July 9, 2019
There is no doubt about the popularity, success and skill of female athletes around the globe, right now, across sporting codes. AFL, cricket, rugby, soccer, tennis: take your pick.
These remarkable athletes deserve to be paid as richly as their male peers.