Once again the Baltimore Sun editorial staff has shown us their collective “woke-ness” with the editorial (“Equal pay for Alex Morgan,” June 12). Unfortunately for us readers, they made the decision to ignore the facts and realities of professional sports.
To their credit, they did give us a few facts. First, that the U.S. women’s team is more successful than their male counterparts. And second, that the most watched soccer match in United States history was a women’s game.
That is where they decided to stop offering facts, and who can blame them? They have a narrative to put forth and going any further would destroy that narrative. So, let’s look a bit closer.
First, that single match they reference took place during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. According to NBC Sports, that tournament brought in $73 million worldwide. Athletes received 13 percent of that revenue. The last Men’s World Cup generated $4 billion, yes billion, worldwide. That’s 55 times what the women’s tournament made. Of that $4 billion, the male athletes got $348 million. So wow, I am wrong. Looks like the men did get paid more than the … hold on … that’s only 9 percent of the generated revenue. So based on revenue, which every professional sport bases their pay structure on, the women actually got paid more than the men.
But those facts are ignored. Instead, slogans are put forth like “equal pay for equal work.” Well guess what? It isn’t equal work. The reason the men’s game brings in vastly more revenue, is people the world over (not just one particular game, in one particular tournament, in one particular country) would rather watch the men’s game because it is a superior product. Need proof? Two years ago, the U.S. women’s team scrimmaged a Dallas-based team of boys under age 15. They lost 5 to 2. Just a scrimmage, understood, but this is not a rare occurrence. Internet searches show this happens with regularity, and not just to the U.S. women. England, Australia, and German women’s team universally lose to young teenage boys.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching women’s soccer, especially at the level the U.S. women play it, but it is not at the same strength, speed and skill level as the men’s game. It is not “equal work”.
Here is how the women can get paid as well as men. Increase the revenue by a multiple of 55. Somehow, convince the world to buy more women's merchandise, buy more tickets to women's matches and watch more women's games on TV (which increases advertising dollars). It really is that simple.
Rex Fisher, Pasadena