The Pay Gap in Soccer Is Economics, Not Politics
RUSH: Let me touch on this equal pay in soccer business. I went back to the archives, March 7th, 2019, a story at Forbes. “Revenue Disparity Explains Pay Disparity Between Soccer World Cup’s Men And Women.”
Let me just give you a pull quote here. “There is a big difference in the revenue available to pay the,” men’s team and the women’s team. “The Women’s World Cup brought in almost $73 million.” Television rights sales, advertising revenue, licensed merchandise, tickets. The grand total of all revenue generated by the women’s World Cup, $73 million, of which the players got 13%.
“The 2010,” for example, “men’s World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.” So there’s no political bias going on here. It’s simply a matter of money. The women’s World Cup brought in $73 million. This is some years ago, recent stats. And the men’s World Cup, four billion. So obviously the pay gap is going to be significant here, and it’s not because of politics at all. It’s economics.
RUSH: And they just can’t let it go. Here you have a phenomenal athletic achievement, the women’s U.S. soccer team winning the World Cup. They gotta politicize it. They cannot just celebrate a brilliant and great athletic performance. Oh, no. No. We gotta talk about how the women are discriminated against, how the women are disrespected, how the women are not given their fair shot.
It’s all about equal pay. They don’t even care about these women. Equal pay is one of these illusionary issues that the left can’t let go of. In their world women still don’t make what men do. They still run around with this bogus stat that women make 71 cents for every dollar men make. And it’s not true anymore. Go look at the Obama administration and look at the pay disparity, or the Clinton administration or the Hillary staff, wherever you look, in Democrat organizations, the women do make less. Nobody calls ’em out on it.
So now here you have the U.S. women’s soccer team, wins the World Cup, and it’s been politicized. “It’s unfair. Why can’t they just pay the same as they pay the men?” The battle cry has gone out. And then some women are, “It’s not just about the pay. It’s about respect. This is a sure sign the women don’t get the same amount of respect.” With who? Everybody I know that watched this thing was cheering to the rafters. Everybody was pleased. Everybody was proud. The U.S. women’s soccer team wins the World Cup, and not for the first time.
Here comes the left to totally destroy it, to diminish it, to turn it into a political issue. They do this with everything. Let me give you the numbers again. I went back. I remembered seeing something in March in Forbes about this. Let me just give you a pull quote. It’s how the revenue disparity — and it exists — how it’s explained. And the numbers here are for I think 2010, 2012. But if the numbers are different today, the proportions are not. And it’s all about the available revenue. The pot of money from which everybody is gonna get paid in women’s soccer versus men’s soccer.
The women’s World Cup brought in about $73 million. That’s everything. That’s revenue generated for ticket sales, TV rights, licensed merchandise, you name it. Everything all-in generated $73 million. The players’ cut of that is 13%.
The 2010, for example, men’s World Cup in South Africa made four billion. We’re talking about two different pots from which everybody involved gets paid. Not just the players. You have FIFA. You have this bunch of European board of directors, people that, like a bunch of European organizations, they sit there and do nothing except look aristocratic, and they get money for it.
It’s the same old story. A bunch of grubbers that are hanging along doing nothing claiming credit for all the organizational and back office, front office functions. And they get their cut; the players get their cut. But there’s a big difference in 73 million and four billion.
Now, the women’s cut of $73 million is 13%. The men’s cut of the four billion is 9%. You could say that the women are being paid more, if you use the percentage as the qualifier or the calculator. But of course nobody will because 13% of $73 million is still gonna be less than 9% of four billion. So then you have to ask, well, why is men’s soccer, the men’s World Cup, why is it generating four billion and the women’s World Cup is only generating $73 million?
Well, if you listen to feminazis, “Well, it’s evidence here that there’s no respect for women, there’s not as much interest in women’s soccer. People are not willing to pay as much for it.” Well, why is that? And then you start getting in to the tall grass. That’s when you start getting into the weeds.
And it’s the same argument, “How can you justify paying a baseball player $20 million a year and a teacher $70,000?” Market speaks. There’s an answer for it. Some people may not like it, but the market answers every question. The market explains all. Why is somebody paying a baseball player $20 million? ‘Cause whoever’s paying him thinks he’s worth it.
So in the big scheme of things, for you individually for a corporation or company, small business, you’re worth what somebody will pay you. Not what some scale says you’re worth. Not some outfit charting various lines of work and assigning financial values to them. The market does that. And you’re worth what somebody will pay you. And if you can convince somebody that it’s worth their while to pay you $20 million, then it can be said you deserve it.
But why does a teacher make whatever 50, 70,000 versus — look. I could give you the answers, but there’s no satisfaction. It wouldn’t please anybody, but the bottom line here is you’ve got two different pots. There just isn’t as much — gonna whisper this — there isn’t as much overall interest in women’s soccer.
I don’t care about Title IX, either. Title IX was supposed to erase all this, see. Title IX was supposed to equalize things. But imagine that. Legislation didn’t equalize the market. So the left is disappointed that their great legislation, Title IX, whatever it was, didn’t fix the disparity.
So how do you change the level of interest factor? Same thing with the NBA versus the women’s NBA. Same thing with men’s professional baseball and women’s professional baseball — sorry. There isn’t one. Same thing with the National Football League for men and the NFL for women — uh, there isn’t one. Why not? Would anybody pay to go watch it?
I mean, it may sound cruel, it may sound unfair, but the marketplace is the marketplace. You carve out what you can from it. You choose a business to go into because you like it or because you think it’s gonna have a huge payoff. Whatever your calculation. But there are certain things you’re gonna be able to know going in.
Then if you know those things and they’re not satisfactory, you try to upset the applecart, in this case I want to make women’s soccer as important and valuable as men’s soccer. Okay, have at it. The market’s waiting for you. Go flood it with your ideas and see if you can do it. If you can, great. If you can’t, it’s not America’s fault. It’s not society’s fault. It’s not the cultures fault. It’s not politics’ fault. It’s not Title IX’s fault.
Same thing with this program starting in 1988. Nobody was demanding it. Had to create the demand. All kinds of people were already doing it except that they weren’t. Talk radio was everywhere, but it wasn’t at the same time, not the way it was done here. You pick a market, you go into it, you try to expand it, carve out your place in it. There are no guarantees and there’s no unfairness.
Well, a lot of people think there is. But there’s nothing unfair in this. It just represents the market. Yet here comes the left politicizing all of this. Another reason why United States just is inferior. The United States is unfair. Why the United States is still filled with bigoted and racist, sexist people. And the never-ending harangue from the left continues about what a rotten place we live in.