On the latest Sporticast episode, Eben Novy-Williams and Emily Caron discuss some of the biggest stories of the week, including groundbreaking news from U.S. Soccer. The men’s and women’s national teams this week each signed new labor accords that will pay them equally, ending a six-year battle, in both federal courts and the court of public opinion, over how the world’s most successful national team should be compensated.
The USMNT and USWNT both agreed to new collective bargaining agreements that run through 2028. Under the new agreements, the two groups agreed to pool (and evenly share) their payouts from FIFA events like their respective World Cup tournaments. That’s a major development—one of the largest impediments to achieving “equal pay” for the two teams was the massive imbalance in what they make from their biggest international events. The prize pool at the 2019 women’s World Cup was roughly $30 million; the prize pool at the men’s World Cup later this year is about $450 million.
To put that in perspective for the U.S. teams, the USMNT made $9 million in 2014 for reaching the World Cup’s Round of 16 and the USWNT made $4 million for winning the 2019 World Cup. While a joint pool may look like a concession from the men, remember that the men’s team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The new CBAs also include new benefits, codified and equal pay for appearing in games, and equal treatment regarding travel, hotels and playing surfaces. Dozens of soccer players on both teams can expect to make ~$450,000 per year under the new rules, according to The New York Times.
The hosts also discuss a few other topics, including the latest on Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who is currently in pre-trial detention in Russian on drug smuggling allegations. The U.S. Government has said she was wrongfully detained and is working to bring her home. They also talk about takeaways from the NCAA’s latest tax filings.