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04/01/2016

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I agree that the CBA needs to be changed but the union reps should have negotiated better on the front end when it was being proposed and agreed upon. The terms are completely different for men vs women because the men are under a "pay for play" philosophy while the women get a guaranteed salary plus bonus with every game so if a guy doesn't play he doesn't get paid but if a woman doesn't play then she just doesn't get the bonus. The women's players union is the one that wanted the set salary along with other benefits the men don't receive such as paid health care as well as severance.

Having said all that, I hope they can make the exact same CBA as the men have if that's what they want. I just wonder why they didn't negotiate it on the front end and asked for the extras instead.

Good point, Jeff, which I'm sure they are well prepared to address. Wonder who actually "represented" the women in the negotiations? They never got access to the underlying financials nor have they won the same working conditions as the men's team. Of course, when there is only one National Team authorized to hire you, the players don't have many options. Monopoly and unconscionable are two terms that come to mind. It will play out in the press, since this is a highly visible situation illustrating a global issue where the USA sets the standard.

Well written post, Jim. To those less familiar with the facts of the case though, it might have helped to illustrate exactly how far apart the pay levels are. Specifics tell a powerful story, as we're not talking 77% of the men's pay, but more 25%.

You are correct, Chuck, that the average person operates from uninformed pre-existing biases, but I expect the analytical types here to confirm my points by clicking on my links to see the proof or alternately do their own research. Thanks for adding the highlight point.

When I played the game, there were penalties for fouls. A kick in the teeth like that calls for a red card. The facts will tell ... no instant replay rule in this sport, though.

I read that the men's compensation is partially a result of the need to entice them away from lucrative professional roles. Hence competition is driving the compensation....two thoughts here, one) the women don't have the same opportunities outside of the USA team and two)both teams should set the pay the same and take who they can get to play on the US team. If it means so much, the money won't be the primary reason to want to play on team USA. The intrinsic value should be primary but it seems most sports are about the dollar. As soon as something becomes popular, it becomes lucrative and more expensive to hire as the pay expectations increase.

Quite right, Karen, about how greater demand and limited supply drives economic behavior. The national teams pick up the tab for the pay of the professional players during their service to the national team. That is a MUCH better deal than the military draft, I must add. Understand that the men get their regular professional pay while the women do not but merely get a minimal salary plus pitiful bonuses. It may reflect the global indifference to female soccer/football despite its phenomenal popularity and financial success in the U.S.

Despite leading the world in money-making from distaff kickers, USWNT pay lags disproportionately here. As you noted, their success drives their competitive demand for pay. Seems that the male pay is based on the male MLS pay while female pay is based on the much lower female league pay opportunities ... despite delivering superior results from identical activities under much worse working conditions. Reminds me of many other parallels of systemic discrimination.

While intrinsic values certainly drive amateur sport participation, professionals whose incomes depend on "playing" for money have moved on to appreciate the commercial benefits of displaying extraordinary skill in their childish hobbies. You don't see pros in any field (chess, bridge, art, dancing, singing, etc.) dedicating their lives for free. Only the women are expected to accept less. Expectations change.

They should be glad for the opportunity.... seems like a step back in time...per professional models of compensation allegedly, if the revenue from women's games are higher, shouldn't their salaries be tied to that and therefore higher than the men?
Perhaps a base salary and an attendance bonus based on net receipts of the gate for both men and women. Then it's based on their true value in the eyes of the fans.

Whatever happened to only amateurs playing on national teams? Once they go pro, they shouldn't turn back to amateur. Or if they do go pro, Team USA should not have to pick up that tab....I would expect that to be picked up by the MLS team, if they want the player badly enough they should release them with pay to play on the USA team. The exposure provides them with some notoriety if the player then returns to the MLS team.

So is the issue the women aren't paid enough or the men are paid too much?

Amateurism went out with communism, Karen, after so many athletes landed on government payrolls that the Western rules against play for pay became ludicrous and unsustainable. The big bucks from broadcast rights also drove capitalistic interests to pay for the best players.

I like your incentive suggestion but it is not the deal negotiated in their last contract which has now expired ... although even that point is now disputed. Each national soccer/football federation sets its own pay rules. Most male players donate their salaries when playing for their country.

Believe that the USSF union contract does not require MLS to release ("loan") their players to the Team USA who pays specific fees to players plus bonus amounts. The only clear point is that the men's deal is far richer than the women's, inverting the value-added relationship here in the States. It does seem to reflect the lower pay of professional women players in their limited American competitive marketplace.

Quite frustrating, that none of the details we comp people care about are reported openly so our information can be precise. Hard to discuss something intelligently when we operate under the mushroom school of motivation system.

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