Prof. Naylor: What Is Our Country's Message, When Top Female Athletes Are Paid One-Fourth What Their Male Counterparts Make?
July 26, 2019
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Writing in The Baltimore Sun, Lorenda A. Naylor, associate professor in the University of Baltimore's School of Public and International Affairs and director of the B.A. in Policy, Politics and International Affairs program in the College of Public Affairs, calls out the major pay gap between male and female professional soccer players.
The United States Senior Women's National Soccer Team recently won the FIFA World's Soccer Cup—"a time of celebration, jubilation and national pride," Naylor writes, but also an opportunity to consider the issue of the wage gap.
"The world cup also served as a call to action as the crowd of 58,000 in Lyon, France, cheered 'USA' and also chanted 'equal pay' publicly highlighting the gap in pay," she writes. "U.S. soccer goalie Megan Rapinoe and others cited inequities between the two programs including player pay, prize money and game schedules. According to major news sources, there is a significant gap between women's and men's pay and total prize money."
Naylor notes that each team plays 20 games, but the difference in pay between the men's and women's teams is $8,216 per game.
"There is a $370 million difference in total prize money," she adds. "The 2019 world women's cup prize money was $30 million compared to the 2018 world men's team cup prize money of $400 million. The pay gap carried over into pay for each player. Each player on the men's World Cup team earned $1.1 million compared to $250,000 for each player on the women's team; a difference of $850,000.
"These are highly trained, world class athletes who devote their lives to the sport. Is this the message the U.S. wants to send the rest of the world: our star female athletes are worth one quarter of what the men are worth?"
Read Prof. Naylor's op-ed in The Baltimore Sun.