Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Our Cup Runneth Over With Inequities

I've been so busy trying to keep with with this and that and here and there that I haven't said one word about the U.S. Women's World Cup soccer team.  Now I'm going to compensate for that and say several.
The American women's soccer team won a smashing 5-2 victory against the Japanese in the final this past Sunday, winning the tournament for the third time in history . . . which is three times more than our men's team has won it.  I'll rag on the men in a moment.  But when the German men's team won last year, they were awarded the equivalent of $35 million, and the U.S. women's team was awarded only $2 million.  By contrast, the U.S. men's team was awarded $8 million - four times what our women got for winning -  for coming in fifteenth in the 2014 World Cup.  This inequity is even more painfully obvious when you realize that our gals rule while our guys drool.
I'm not being misandric here.  I'm being factual.  The women's soccer team representing These States have been either winning international tournaments or coming pretty darn close to doing so on a consistent basis, while the men fall flat on their faces and improve only to stumble again.  Bear in mind that the U.S. women's team won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London while the men didn't even qualify and had to stay home.
And then there was 1998.  Come on, guys, you knew  I was going to bring that up again, didn't you?  You made to the World Cup in France, and you were eliminated by the Iranians, who then celebrated the fact that they got to rub the noses of their most hated enemy - that would be us - in the dust.  You couldn't even beat Yugoslavia - by then reduced to Serbia and Montenegro - for next to last place.  And the women went on to win the 1999 Women's World Cup and redeem what was left of our national honor. You came in 32nd in the first World Cup to have 32 teams! 
Since then, the U.S. men's soccer team has improved in fits and starts, taking two steps ahead and one step back, while the women have been taking quantum leaps.  If the men's team ever does win the World Cup, it'll be the biggest man-bites-dog story in the history of international sport.  To be fair, our boys have won stunning victories against Germany and the Netherlands in recent friendlies, so they are getting better.  But they're clearly being overpaid.  As FIFA has not brought something resembling prize money equity to the world tournaments, maybe the U.S. men's team should donate a chunk of their fifteenth-place reward from 2014 to their sisters in arms.
And then maybe the ladies will let the gents hold their trophies for a couple of moments.  Because it's going to be awhile before the male players get their own. :-p 

No comments: