Tags

Sports isn’t my thing, but social justice is.

The U.S. women’s soccer team refused to play in an international game Sunday because of unsafe field conditions — turning a battered, rock-filled artificial turf field into a symbol of a gulf between the treatment of men and women at the highest levels of soccer.

“Our federation continues to put us into subpar and unsafe playing conditions compared to the men, and we decided it was time to stand against that,” Hope Solo, the team’s goalkeeper, told BuzzFeed News of the decision to cancel the game, a match against Trinidad and Tobago that was part of the team’s victory tour following their World Cup win. “This is bigger than one game for us. We decided to take a stand that this cannot go on.”

It’s a depressing situation, yet representative of women’s sport in general.

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) has been growing and developing for seven seasons now. There are just five teams in the league but the rosters are filled with women we’ve rooted for in the 2014 Winter Olympics, as well as top NCAA Division I athletes and other high-caliber players. They are some of the best hockey players in the world, yet none are paid.

Salaries for women playing at the top: $1,000 per year. If they win.

It’s easy to see why salaries are non-existent: The CWHL’s annual budget is a mere $1.8 million dollars (up from $1.7 million the previous season). To put it in terms hockey fans can appreciate: “One salary of a base NHL player runs my league,” says CWHL founder and commissioner Brenda Andress.


The anonymous questionnaire was sent to 568 women in almost 40 different sports, with 339 responding. […]

2. Are you able to make a living as a sportswoman?

Yes: 113 (33%)

No: 224 (67%)

3. Compared to men, do you feel sportswomen are underpaid and the financial rewards inadequate?

Yes: 276 (81%)

No: 32 (9%)

Don’t know: 28 (10%)

It doesn’t pay for women to make sport their primary focus, given how badly they’re treated and devalued.

Advertisements