The Fight for Equal Treatment for Men and Women in National Sports


Abby Ruggerio, Sports Writer

Female athletes are taking the world by storm and influencing many young girls to do the same. Women have been able to do what men can do but now it is finally getting the recognition that these women deserve. Although, they are getting recognition for their athletic ability to have a consistent winning record, the United States Women’s National Teams were not getting nearly as much as the United States Men’s National Teams. The two prominent leaders for this issue were the Women’s National Hockey and Soccer Team.

United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNST) were the first to speak up against this unjust treatment from the U.S. Soccer Federation. It wasn’t until after The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team vowed to sit out a major international tournament unless USA Hockey made a better negotiations with the Women’s National Hockey Team. USA Hockey which provides only $1000/month to players during the six-month Olympic training period and no money for the other three and half years between Olympics. Although, they don’t get the necessary payments they deserve they are still expected to train and play competitively. The women wanted a 68,000 dollar salary and the same treatment the men get which includes business class airfares, disability insurance, and the ability to bring a guest to competitions. As women, they also wanted benefits such as child care, the ability to compete in more games throughout the year, and maternity leave. The female athletes went to social media and started the #BeBoldForChange to spread the awareness. Numerous amounts of people in the community supported their courageous action against unfair treatments. This past year, the members of the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team have agreed to a four-year labor deal with USA Hockey.

United States Women’s National Soccer Team battled the same issues as the Women’s Hockey Team were. The players on the World Cup-winning United States Women’s National Soccer Team earn less money than their counterparts on the men’s national team. The five top players on the women’s team filed a federal complaint, accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination because they said they were earning as little as 40 percent of what players on the men’s team. Those five players who stood up against this were the following; Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Hope Solo. On March 30, 2017, a statement was released that U.S Soccer recounted the role the federation has played in the growth of women’s soccer, including its introduction to the Olympic Games, and providing full-time salaries for the top players on the team.

Women’s National Teams are paving new ways for the future generations of female athletes. Their constant wins are growing every year which increases the attention they are collecting but not as much attention as the men’s. Hopefully, we will get to a time where men and women sports are equally appreciated. When will women sports get the recognition they deserve? Time will only tell.