On Sunday, after the US won the Women's World Cup in Lyon, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was met with a flurry of deafening chants from fans calling for equal pay, and it was brilliant.
The United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final of the competition, at the Stade de Lyon in France, with Rapinoe being awarded the Golden Boot, and leading the team to victory in the competition for the fourth time.
The gender pay gap has long been an issue in women's football, and it's been thrust into the spotlight recently, with players from all over the world demanding parity for women from FIFA, the international governing body of soccer.
And there's a good reason for it. The gender pay gap between men's and women's football is extreme. This year's Women's World Cup prize is $30 million, while the 2018 World Cup for men had $400 million available, reports the Huffington Post.
The difference in pay is so stark that the players sued the United States' Soccer Federation in March, claiming:
purposeful gender discrimination.
Writing in the New York Times, Lizzy Goodman noted:
Partly as a consequence of their superior results, from 2015 to 2018, the women’s team played 19 more matches than the men.
In other words, the women aren’t working as hard as their male counterparts for less money; they’re working harder for less money.
Well, let's be honest, what's new?
Thankfully, though, people who were in the audience were aware of the disparity, and they called for change. Videos of the chants went viral on social media, and we can see why. Others shared their thoughts on why female footballers deserve parity.
The calls for parity have not gone completely unheeded. Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential candidates, have discussed the issue in recent months. Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand all signed a letter in March urging the United States' Soccer Federation to:
ensure that the U.S. Women's National Team is fairly compensated.
On Sunday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also added her voice to the controversy, saying:
At this point we shouldn’t even be asking for #EqualPay for the #USWMNT - we should demand they be paid at least twice as much.