Kira L. Michigan

Kicking the Wage Gap

The wage gap affects millions of people. From celebrities like the stars from the United States Women's National Soccer Team, to ordinary people like your friends and neighbors. This problem doesn't only affect women, it impacts everyone who is part of a minority. The U.S. needs to take steps to solve this problem for future generations.

Dear Future President,

When I was younger, I dreamed of being a professional soccer player, playing for the United States National Team. Playing in a large stadium, the lights illuminating the field, the crowd chanting my name. Now that I am older, I realize that this goal is somewhat unrealistic. Yet, so many young girls spend much of their time dreaming this same dream, but there are a couple things they didn't think about. One of them is that if they plan on making their living playing women’s soccer, they better get a day job.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (U.S.W.N.T.) is filing a federal complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The women’s soccer stars want equal pay. They believe that they are being discriminated against because they make less than the men. If the women win a game, they get $1,300, whereas if the men win they get $17,000. Continuing on that, if the men lose a game, they still get paid $5,000. The women get nothing if they lose. How are the women expected to train daily in order to prepare and win games, when they are not paid enough money to sustain this lifestyle without another source of income? Not only is they pay unequal, but so are the playing conditions. The women play on turf. This causes injuries, and even ruins equipment. An article written by The Players Tribune said, “there were sharp rocks ingrained all over the field. They were everywhere. The artificial turf was actually pulling up out of the ground, and the turf itself was both low-grade and aging. This was a playing surface that looked like it hadn’t been replaced in years.” This is a major safety concern for the players. Soccer is their job, which means their bodies are their job. An injury from the turf could cost them time and money. The men never have to deal with this problem, they never play on turf.

One may think that the players get paid based on how much revenue they bring in, how many people watch the games, or how well they do. If this were the case, the roles would be reversed. The U.S.W.N.T. is ranked number one, while the men are ranked twenty nine places under them at thirty. The men have only made it to the round sixteen of the World Cup, while the women have won three world cups. The women also bring in more revenue, the women brought in 17 million dollars in profit, whilst the men lost 2 million in profit. Not only have they achieved all of this, but they have also broken the record for the most watched soccer match in US history. Even though the women’s team has done so well they are still underpaid. They aren’t the only ones. Women athletes all over the world are suffering from the wage gap. The U.S.W.N.T. is just a small part of the problem.

This all relates back to an even larger problem. The wage gap. Some people believe that it is a myth or that the truth is stretched, but the fact of the matter is that it is real, and it impacts millions of people. The most common statistic heard is that women earn 77% of what men do. While this is true, it is also colloquialism, shorthand for expressing a complex economic truth. If you average what all women, working full time, year round, earn you will find that women make 77% of what men do. While occupational differences accounts, “for up to 49.3% of the wage gap,” that is not the only factor.“ At least some sort of this is due to discrimination even if it is subtle and subconscious.”

I believe that the pay gap is an important issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible. It affects not only women, but all people who are minorities. The U.S.W.N.T. unequal pay is just one example of how people are not earning what they deserve. The Women’s team works hard to perform well and win games, and it’s our duty to our future generations to make sure they get paid equally for their hard work. If they have equal play, they should have equal pay.


Kira L.

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

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