Point of personal privilege. Today is my 100th Friday Freedom Kick. The century mark. I'm now pension-eligible under the B&RU retirement plan.
Speaking of pay and benefits, how about them women? We'll get to that. Boy, will we ever.
That's Hunter Trefny. He graduates from Westfield High School in Chantilly later this year. Twitter says he's headed to UMBC next year, but maybe he should hang around that goal a little longer.
Washington Spirit Intrasquad Scrimmage FREE - Washington Spirit:: This Spirit vs. Spirit event is free, but you have to go to this link and get your tickets while supplies last. The scrimmage is tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Soccerplex. And afterward, I hear the Spirit players will do some availability for the fans.
Then And Now: How MLS Has Changed Since 1996 | San Jose Earthquakes: A fun stroll down amnesia lane.
And now let's Friday Freedom Kick the crap out of pay discrimination. I'm talking about the USWNT's EEOC charge against US Soccer. Go!
Women's Soccer Players Accused U.S. Soccer of Pay Discrimination - The Atlantic: "Women on the team make a salary, and like men, are eligible for bonuses. And that's about where similarities stop. A man makes $5,000 for a loss; women make nothing for a loss or a tie. Men earn as much as $17,625 for a win, The Times reported. Women make $1,350 for one."
Data: How does the U.S. women's soccer team pay compare to the men? | PBS NewsHour: "Interestingly, the filing mentioned one instance where the U.S. Soccer Federation paid women and men the same for playing professional soccer: the Olympic Games. The Federation offered equal pay of $15,000 to each women's and men's national team member who qualified to play in the Olympics and another $15,000 to everyone who made the roster." Of course, the USMNT didn't qualify for the Olympics.
Women's Soccer Is Raking in Cash. Why Do US Players Get Embarrassingly Low Pay? | Mother Jones: A fascinating chart showing how much men and women are paid for various matches and World Cup progress.
Women Earn The Glory While Men Earn The Money In U.S. Soccer | FiveThirtyEight: Here's a deep dive by the stats nerds at fivethirtyeight on the pay discrepancies between Hope Solo and Tim Howard.
Here’s why members of U.S. women’s soccer team say they’re underpaid - MarketWatch: "The federation also noted that its payment model for women's players is in part to supplement the lower salaries they receive from professional clubs."
U.S. Soccer responds to USWNT's wage complaint | SI.com: Shorter US Soccer: "Nice NWSL and girls' development academies you have there. Shame if anything were to happen to them."
U.S. Soccer president responds to USWNT's wage discrimination claim | SI.com: "U.S. women's player lawyer Jeffrey Kessler had told SI.com that the timing of the women's action was due to U.S. Soccer communicating in CBA negotiations that the women would not get as much as the men in their new CBA."
What pay means to U.S. women's soccer players: R-E-S-P-E-C-T - Washington Post: "For decades now, the U.S. women's national soccer team has made less money for better work. The players don't just deserve equal pay. They deserve back pay -- about 25 years' worth. That's how long they've been fighting the U.S. Soccer Federation over their inferior treatment. Finally, they filed a federal discrimination complaint. You know what drove them to it? The USSF called them "irrational" for asking for a raise."
USWNT Stars File Federal Discrimination Complaint Against U.S. Soccer, Seek Equal Pay - Deadspin: "And the women have one more bullet in the chamber if it comes to it. Kessler would not comment on the possibility of a work stoppage ahead of this summer's Olympics. Hope Solo, in a call with reporters this morning, would not rule it out."
U.S. Women's Soccer: How Big Is Wage Gap Between Sexes? - Time.com: "The pay gap is even more egregious when you look at the prize money offered by FIFA...That amounts to female American players receiving less than 6 cents for every $1 earned by the German men."
Everyone benefits when women's soccer players earn more - Washington Post: "Paying hyper-talented women less than their male counterparts, when they are performing better against their competition and - yes - raking in more dollars, sends a backwards market signal to current and future players. It blunts the incentive for very talented women to pursue soccer stardom, which potentially hurts the nation in international competitions - and the Federation in its bottom line."
Equality Run Amok - Women's Soccer Version - Cato Blog: The opposing view.
Incidentally, April 12 is Equal Pay Day - the date until which women must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year.
Okay, on to other soccer labor struggles:
Labor Night at D.C. United - Groupmatics: The May 13 match versus the Red Bulls is labor union night at RFK.
Report: Qatar abuses migrant workers in 2022 World Cup prep | SI.com: So Amnesty International interviews 234 migrant workers in Qatar and finds that 228 of them (err...math...that's 97.4% of them) were being paid a wage lower than the one promised. All of them (err...math...that's 100%) had to pay recruitment fees to get the job, which is sort of backwards when you realize they are the ones supplying the labor. And, par for the course, "some workers also had their passports taken away and were not allowed to leave..." Lots, lots more, including photos of the living conditions, here and here:
"My life here is like a prison. We worked for many hours in the hot sun. When I first complained about my situation, soon after arriving in Qatar, the manager said ‘if you [want to] complain you can but there will be consequences. If you want to stay in Qatar be quiet and keep working.'"
Heckuva job, FIFA.
Alright, enough. We got a big game this weekend versus the Quakes. Focus. We can win this.
And you need your Friday Freedom Kick treat: Warm your patriotic hearts with these baby eaglets born at the National Arboretum.
Bonus treat: you remember Scott Sterling (Scott Sterling!) of the Yale soccer team? He quit the football pitch for the volleyball court. The eighth wonder of the world! The great wall of Sterling! The angel with a devil's face!