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Abby Wambach speaks on salary wage gap

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 10:00 pm
The College at Brockport was proud to host the Rochester born, World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach. The United States soccer legend shared her views on retiring, the success of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and more with hundrends of students and parents who came to listen to what Wambach has learned during her many experiences across the globe. Now retired, Wambach hopes to show that life is more about family values than fame and money.
The College at Brockport was proud to host the Rochester born, World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach. The United States soccer legend shared her views on retiring, the success of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and more with hundrends of students and parents who came to listen to what Wambach has learned during her many experiences across the globe. Now retired, Wambach hopes to show that life is more about family values than fame and money.

The modern world of sports is filled with opportunity, love and business for both future and current athletes who influence today’s sports scene, but that does not mean it’s perfect. Although athletes have some of the highest paid salaries in comparison to other occupations, thousands of professional female athletes receive lower annual wages than male athletes; one of those athletes is 2015 World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach. 

Born and raised in Rochester, Wambach’s passion for teaching college students about the lessons she has gained from her 14 year experience of playing in the U.S. Women’s National team was evident throughout her entire time at The College at Brockport. The now-retired soccer star visited the college Saturday, Oct. 23, where she spoke on many different topics, ranging from advice on how students can approach the professional world of sports to the gender wage gap that is seen in sports today.  

The salary wage gap between men and women has been a long established issue in today’s society. Spread across various fields and positions, men have been making more money than women for as long women have worked.It is a reality that needs to be changed. 

Different for every occupation, the salary wage gap between men and women has certainly been shrinking in  the past couple of years, but equal wages do not exist. Although it is not present in all sports, the inequality in salary between men and women is staggering.

Following her fourth and final World Cup during the summer of 2015, Wambach and the rest of the U.S. Women’s National team received $2 million as a whole for winning the World Cup. In comparison, fútbol international governing body, FIFA, the organization who awarded the U.S. Women’s National team with their pay, awarded the German Men’s National team with $35 million altogether after its 2014 World Cup success. 

“Do I think that the women should be getting paid more money? Do I think U.S. soccer should continue to supplement the league in order for women to get equal pay?” Wambach asked. “Absolutely.” 

Wambach went on to argue that the U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t qualify for the World Cup, whereas the Women’s National Soccer Team is on track to make a huge impact on the 2019 Women’s World Cup, a major part behind the reason why women should be earning a higher salary. 

According to The New York Times, the average salary gap for the same position in national soccer between men and women is considerably higher for male players. With a difference of $2 million between the two genders in 2016, the inequality of pay is something that has not changed in the sport of soccer. 

Although men have larger salaries than women, Wambach stated that women’s national leagues are a business in the making and its current state of pay will improve as the sport, demand and coverage grows. Inequality in pay is an undoubtedly visible issue in the sports industry now, but as womens’ teams continue to increase and build an audience for the sport here in the U.S., hopefully the fans will see some of this disparity shrink in the future.

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