By Ken Reed
The US women’s national soccer team has filed a wage discrimination lawsuit through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against US Soccer.
I say Godspeed ladies.
It’s about damn time something like this happened.
The women’s soccer team has been treated shabbily and unfairly — relative to the US men’s team — for years, as Dave Zirin does an excellent job pointing out in his latest column.
In terms of success on the field, there’s no comparison between the women’s and men’s soccer teams. The women’s team has won Olympic gold medals and World Cups. The men’s team is usually fortunate just to be a participant in the World Cup.
For decades, Title IX opponents have ignored civil rights and social justice arguments and turned to purely economic rationale to keep female athletes down. Their primary argument goes something like this: “Once women athletes start bringing in revenue equal to the men then, and only then, can we start talking about equal treatment.”
Well, consider this bottom line buffs: Not only has the women’s team been more successful than the men’s team on the scoreboard, they have also been significantly more successful from an economic perspective.
“Here are some of these pesky digits: 20 million,” writes Zirin.
“That’s how many more dollars in revenue the women produced in 2015 compared to the men’s team, while the fellas were paid nearly four times as much in salary and bonuses. That’s according to US Soccer’s own financial reports. Another number is 25.4 million. That’s the number of people who watched the 2015 World Cup Final against Japan, making it the most watched soccer match—male or female—in the history of this country. Then there are the smaller numbers: The women receive $10 less per day than men for their meal allowances on the road.”
Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapine filed the suit on behalf of the entire US women’s team.
These ladies are champions on and off the field. And they’ve earned, and deserve, our support.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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