ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

American Opinion: Sweet, overdue victory for US women's soccer

Summary: These significant strides toward ending senseless and outdated gender biases are years overdue. However, they arrive just in time to resonate powerfully as American soccer takes another leap forward in prominence.

Megan Rapinoe of the United States scores the team's first goal from a penalty during the Women's International Friendly between Sweden and the U.S. at Friends Arena on April 10, 2021, in Solna, Sweden.
Megan Rapinoe of the United States scores the team's first goal from a penalty during the Women's International Friendly between Sweden and the U.S. at Friends Arena on April 10, 2021, in Solna, Sweden.
Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

America didn't invent soccer, but this nation has taken global leadership in making the world's game truly equitable.

A May 18 collective bargaining deal solidified an arrangement a long time coming: equal pay for the men's and women's national soccer teams. It is staggering to contemplate how slow this progress has been. The Women's World Cup — which the U.S. Women's National Team has won four times — has been a global event since 1991.

wct.op.americanopinion
American Opinion

Yet, three decades later, it still took protracted negotiations and a lawsuit, settled in February, for America to become the first nation to equalize pay for its international soccer representatives. The movement needs to go global. Women's World Cup teams competed in 2019 for shares of $30 million — less than 8% of the $400 million that constituted the pot in the 2018 men's tournament.

The U.S. women won the 2019 Women's World Cup. For that, players took home $110,000 bonuses, about $300,000 less than members of the men's team would have made had they won a men's World Cup title in 2018. The new landmark agreement will pool FIFA's unequal payouts so each player on a U.S. World Cup team, men's or women's, gets an equal share of the collective prize money. Extra bonuses for wins have also been equalized between teams, ending the upside-down reality where the women's side was given short shrift despite winning more. About time.

"It's just a little bit surreal," star winger and Seattleite Megan Rapinoe told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Who could blame her for needing a moment to adjust to such a historic correction?

ADVERTISEMENT

Another well-considered element of the bargain between U.S. Soccer and the respective national teams: the men's team will have federation-provided child care, as the women's team has for 25 years.

These significant strides toward ending senseless and outdated gender biases are years overdue. However, they arrive just in time to resonate powerfully as American soccer takes another leap forward in prominence.

In 2026, stadiums across the U.S. — potentially including Lumen Field — will host men's World Cup games, which have not been played on American soil since 1994. The host role will put a powerful spotlight on America's advance in soccer gender equity; co-hosts Canada and Mexico — and the rest of the soccer, football and fútbol world — should follow suit.

This American Opinion editorial is the opinion of the editorial board of the Seattle Times.

©2022 The Seattle Times. Visit www.seattletimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

More editorials:
Recent editorials of other newspapers published in the West Central Tribune.
Summary: These GOP leaders were one of the last lines of defense between the country and a genuine constitutional crisis — and one that would have been achieved not by persuasion, but by force. ... And they paid for it, in a way public servants should never have to pay for doing their duty.

What to read next
Social Security is more than a safety net. It is indispensable to the nation’s future.
Summary: It’s the kind of compromise for the common good that used to be commonplace in Washington. Passing the Family Security Act 2.0 wouldn’t just help families and children across America; it might restore just a little bit of hope in our political system.
From the editorial: "Our visitors come by car (and in vans, campers, and trucks), and we can’t afford for them not to come. So if knocking 47 cents per gallon off the price of gas ensures they still do this summer, we have to scream out our support."
Summary: With the primary now just weeks away, the lack of a real discussion of issues is stunning, and depressing. It’s beyond comprehension that Missouri voters would consider a Eric Greitens who resigned his office in disgrace under so many clouds. He shouldn’t get near any elected office, or any position of responsibility.