Target: Mr. Patrick Leahy, United States Senator (D-Vermont)
Goal: Applaud push to force FIFA to compensate male and female athletes equally.
The gross injustice of FIFA’s cavernous gender pay gap is now being addressed by Congress thanks to Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy. The Senator introduced a new resolution calling on FIFA to pay male and female athletes equally for doing the same job. This progressive piece of legislation is wonderful to see and exactly what activists, including those from Force Change who signed a recent petition on this very subject, are looking for from their elected representatives.
Gender pay gaps are no surprise to anyone anymore, but the sheer vastness of FIFA’s gap is what makes it noteworthy in the first place. For winning the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Brazil, the German National Team was paid the equivalent of $35 million. In contrast, for winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, the United States National Team was paid the paltry sum of $2 million. This is despite the event being the most viewed Women’s World Cup to date.
Many sadly misguided souls are arguing that this gap is because of a difference in revenue generated by the two tournaments, but that is simply untrue when considering FIFA’s general treatment of women. The 2015 tournament was fraught with controversy over inadequate and dangerous playing fields and Sepp Blatter, the former President of FIFA, has been quoted as saying that the female athletes were essentially just for show and should wear shorter shorts if they want people to pay attention to them.
This is not an issue of revenue generation–it is a clear cut issue of institutional sexism that borders very closely on misogyny. Hopefully this resolution will make its way through Congress and the fine women of the U.S. National Soccer Team will be paid what they deserve for their performances. Sign to thank Senator Leahy for this chance at equality and to encourage more resolutions like this in the future.
Dear Senator Leahy,
People have come to expect some sort of gender pay gap. It’s not a welcome entity in our lives, but it’s something we have to live with for the time being while we fight constantly for equality. That being said, the organization FIFA has gone too far with their sexist tournament payouts and I am writing to thank you for recognizing that and taking action in the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. women’s team was paid $2 million for their victory. This sounds like a striking sum to a layman, but when it’s considered next to what the German men’s team received for their victory, $35 million, it seems paltry. Furthermore, the U.S. men’s team received $8 million for losing in the men’s tournament. This is completely unfair and I thank you for attempting to put a stop to it. You will be, as you say, on the right side of history. Thank you again and please keep up the good work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Joel Solomon