EQUAL PAY, EQUAL PAY, EQUAL PAY, EQUAL PAY!

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, May 23, 2022

Well it was a really quiet week in soccer. Oh, wait there was one little thing that happened.

EQUAL PAY!!!!!!!!

Here’s the AP’s story the morning of. We also did a sidebar that listed some of the particulars of the agreement, and an “Explainer” that breaks it all down and adds context.

My AP colleague Ron Blum and I got the bylines, but the entire project was really a group effort with graphics, photos and video involved.

The important thing to note in all of this is that the actual rates of pay are equal. This was something that was always difficult to break down in the past, because of the base pay included in the women’s CBA. Going forward, match for match and camp for camp, the women will be compensated equally to the men.

To be honest, I didn’t really get the significance of agreement, and what it meant to people, until I spoke to Michelle Akers a day later. You can see what she had to say below. I spoke to a few other vets, and those interviews will come out in upcoming editions of the IX.

You can read my story on the decades of work it took to get to this point here.

The biggest elephant in the room was obviously World Cup prize money. One interesting fact: This year the U.S. men will earn more than $10 million just for appearing in the World Cup in Qatar. The women made just $4 million for winning the while freaking thing in 2019. Yikes.

What will happen going forward is this: The prize money will be pooled. U.S. Soccer will take a slice off the top, then the two national teams will split the rest.

Which really, makes sense because U.S. Soccer is a non-profit organization that’s mission is to grow the game — for all. I get frustrated when naysayers say the men generate more revenue than the women and therefore deserve more. First off, no they don’t, and second, that just ignores the mission of the organization.

Some more deets are here:

The men had been playing without a contract since 2018. Which is kind of astounding.

And finally, good for Merritt Mathias for speaking out and acknowledging the pain of LGBTQ+ supporters.


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LINKS!

The New York Times did a story on how the whole thing will work.

Time Magazine looked at how the agreement came about.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle on the deal.

The Kansas City Star says the Current will seek state funds for new stadium.

Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune says now that equal pay is done, it’s time to pay attention to the NWSL. He’s not wrong.

Just Women’s Sports says Lucy Bronze is considering a move to the NWSL.

Meg Linehan tackles expansion for The Athletic.

Cesar Hernandez talks to Jill Ellis about pressure for ESPN.

Kris Ward joins the chorus of critics of NWSL officiating.

Johnathan Tannenwald caught up with Megan Rapinoe (at a Storm game) to talk equal pay.

Clare Shine’s story is important. From the Guardian.

Ada Hegerberg is back, with a vengeance.

Women’s soccer need more high-profile sponsors. Yep.

SI on Barcelona’s new legacy.

ESPN on the Champions League final.

The Equalizer also took a look at Lyon’s victory.

Also from the Equalizer, nice story from Rachael Kriger on Sara Luebbert.

The Insider’s Meredith Cash explores Angel City’s commitment to Roe v. Wade. I see this becoming a bigger issue in women’s sports. Will players reject teams in states that ban abortion, Plan B or certain forms of contraception? Or won’t allow IVF?

BABIES!

Some (of many) reactions to equal pay

Becky Sauerbrunn spoke following the Thorns game Wednesday, about returning from surgery and the equal pay decision. Here’s the video:

I spoke to Michelle Akers about the Equal Pay decision. I didn’t even have to really ask questions because she was stoked to talk about it. Here’s what she said about the decision, and how past players paved the way:

“Well for me, I was on that first team in 1985, with those players who were the premier players in the United States, collegiately, were picked for that team. And then we went overseas and played in Italy. We had $10 a day per diem, bring our own shoes and God helped me they had to be adidas or else you were sent home. So that’s kind of how it started. We wore the men’s uniforms. The old men’s uniforms, Chico Borja and I we wore the same uniform in those years. So that’s how it started.

“Then when when the World Cup came about in ’91, it wasn’t an official World Cup, it was retroactivity an official World Cup. But at the time, it was sort of an experimental world championship for FIFA. So we again, we had a pay raise of $15 a day per diem. And I think adidas did give us shoes at that time. So other than that, we didn’t get paid, we didn’t get bonuses. We didn’t make any money. It was purely those those players out there, we’re playing for the love of the game and the love of our team and the honor and love of playing for the United States at the highest level.

“As we move forward from that night and win the World Cup, Anson Dorrance, who’s the coach at that time, he embedded this vision in us to continue to be the best players in the world on the best team in the world. And that was hands-down our standard. And then along with that, and every training session, every interview after every match, we were selling the game. We were growing the game. We considered ourselves spokespersons for women’s soccer in the U.S. because — the guys obviously weren’t at that level for World Cup wins. We were part of selling the game to the American public so so that’s kind of how we viewed it and and that’s the legacy that went up through the ’96 Olympics.

“Then that ’99 World Cup was one of the great achievements of that mentality, and continued the commitment by all those players. So that’s why I’m so happy, it makes my heart happy that Becky (Sauerbrunn) recognized all those players because without them you know, we would we wouldn’t be here. But at the same time, without what Becky and her team did, we wouldn’t be here. So I think that’s what’s so cool about this incredible announcement. Is that it truly is a collective effort and, and that includes the men’s team because never before has the U.S. men’s team stood strong next to the women’s team in fighting their battles. So I think this was huge for the success of this decision with U.S. Soccer and the agreement going forward. I’m ecstatic and and I’m incredibly proud of this group of people and this special team that pushed it all the way to the goal. But at the same time, I’m like, `What the hell? How come it took so long?’ We need need to continue working and make this kind of normal everyday life.”

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Anne Tokarski, @annetokarski, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Annie Peterson