On Sunday, the U.S. women's soccer team defeated Japan in what was one of the greatest World Cup performances of all time. It was the most watched soccer match in U.S. history — for both men and women.
But unlike the winners of the 2014 men's World Cup, the U.S. women won't be bathing in money. Sure, they got a big chunk of change — $2 million for the team in prize money from FIFA — but that's nothing next to what the German men took home: $35 million for the team FIFA. (No, I didn't leave out a decimal point.)
It's a startling difference, I know, but the issue isn't just about prize money. Atlas, a data website, has just released the minimum salaries for professional U.S. athletes, and found something very disturbing. The minimum annual salary for a professional female soccer player is $6,842, which is below the Federal poverty line, while their male counterparts make at least $60,000 — that's nine times more.
After women's soccer attracted such a large audience, let's hope the NWSL can do something to narrow this gaping discrepancy in pay between genders.