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Lower pay for U.S. women's team is about economics

Alex Morgan of the USA celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring her team's twelfth goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France match between the USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Alex Morgan of the USA celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring her team's twelfth goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France match between the USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) (Robert Cianflone / Getty Images)

The Sun editorial about equal pay for Alex Morgan concludes that the disparity in pay between U.S. men and women soccer players can only be explained as gender discrimination (“Equal Pay for Alex Morgan,” June 2). This conclusion shows a stunning lack of understanding of basic economics and the functioning of a market economy.

First, soccer players are entertainers and not workers who produce a product. Entertainers are paid based on the revenues they generate. A general comparison of men's and women's World Cup ticket prices shows that the men's ticket is about 11 times as expensive as the women's ticket. In addition to that fact, the last U.S. Women's World Cup game drew less than 19,000 people. The men typically draw from three to five times that many fans.

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The difference in World Cup pay of $30 million for women and $400 million for men seems more than reasonable since the men generate about 44 times as much revenue. The higher revenue is reflective of a higher demand to watch the men's games. The men play the game at a higher level than the women and fans prefer to watch the men play.

This is not gender discrimination. It would be nice to pay the women more, but where does that money come from?

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D. Anderson, Parkville

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