The Women's World Cup Was Dominated By The U.S. & Everyone From AOC To Leslie Jones Is Demanding Equal Pay Now

Photo: Joosep Martinson/FIFA/Getty Images.
Today the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked balls and kicked ass. The team won the Women’s World Cup for the fourth time, beating Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon, France. But although the USWNT has won a record number of Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, their domination highlights a serious example of the gender pay gap. The women’s soccer team makes less money than the men’s team — and now, prominent voices from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Mandy Moore to Ava DuVernay to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are demanding change.
“At this point we shouldn’t even be asking for #EqualPay for the #USWMNT - we should demand they be paid at least twice as much,” Ocasio-Cortez posted on Twitter, which seems fair considering that the women’s team does a way, way better job than the men’s team. Ocasio-Cortez also quoted a tweet by USA Today sports journalist Nancy Armour, who reported that American fans began chanting “Equal pay!” as the team claimed victory.
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Gillibrand, who is running for president in the Democratic primaries, also called out the pay discrepancy. “Congratulations, ladies! You make us so proud, on and off the field,” she wrote on Twitter. “Once again the @USWNT has proven they’re the best team in the world—now let’s make sure they’re paid like it. #onenationoneteam.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley joined the equal pay chorus, writing, “Now pay them what you owe them,” in a tweet addressed directly to U.S. Soccer, who controls the salary for USWNT and USMNT.
Entertainers also demanded pay equity. Better Things star and creator Pamela Adlon celebrated the win, Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks kept their support to the point, while DuVernay reiterated that equal pay is the bare minimum that the USWNT deserves.
On Instagram, Mandy Moore thanked the team for “continuing to inspire us all with your fortitude and insane talent,” while calling for the team “to be paid what they deserve.” Natalie Portman and Sophia Bush concurred.
Writer and Yale professor Roxane Gay wryly noted that the “men’s team...doesn’t do much on the world stage.”
She’s not wrong — the U.S. Men's National Team has never won a World Cup or Olympic medal. The USMNT didn’t even qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and their best showing was in 1930, when they placed third. Yes, 1930.
What kind of soccer pay discrepancy are we talking about? Individual men’s players can earn a maximum of $1.1 million for winning the World Cup. The women’s team maximum salary is $260,869 for the exact same job.
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It remains to be seen if the U.S. Soccer Federation will negotiate salary raises for the team. With this win, and reports that the women’s team earns more money than the men’s team, the pressure is on. More than 50 members of Congress are calling for pay equality, and fans are voicing their support loud and clear. As Leslie Jones says, "They should be getting paid." It’s beyond time that the USNWT’s salary matches their fierce, winning athleticism.
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