For 30 years, Abby Wambach’s focus was on soccer, eating right, and staying fit.
Now that the leading goal scorer in the world — for both men and women — is retiring, Wambach is starting to look back on her career and there’s one thing that stands out: the gender pay gap.
« The minute I announced my retirement, I started to reflect on my career, » Wambach said onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit.
« And I got pissed because I look to my counterparts across the aisle — résumes aside, the Ronaldos, the Messis, and the Landon Donovans get to leave the sport battered and bruised and not have to worry about what they’re going to do next. »
The gender pay gap in sports is both startling and well-documented. The U.S. women’s World Cup team that won made $2 million, split among all the players. In contrast, the men’s team from Germany made $35 million. The U.S. men’s team that got knocked out in the round of 16 made $9 million.
Looking at the total payouts, the men’s teams were rewarded $576 million. The women’s teams made only $15 million.
« Enough is enough, » Wambach said of the pay gap. « We have to stop allowing this to happen. If I have to be the face of it, that’s fine. But it has to, has to, has to stop. »
Some argue that the pay gap is fair. Simply, women’s sports generate less revenue and female soccer players are paid less as a result. While the US women’s World Cup match was the most-watched match in the history of US soccer, it only generated $17 million in ads. ESPN’s broadcasting of the World Cup, in contrast, netted the company $529 million in sponsorship revenue, according to the Washington Post.
To Wambach, the pay gap is unacceptable regardless. There has to be a way to change it — whether it’s a law or a movement or both, she said. Her goal after retirement is to change the world, and she say she’s not scared of saying it.
« The reality is, as Alyssa Milano said earlier, one moment can literally create a movement, » Wambach said. « I think for me, my moment was realizing that I accepted being paid and being treated unequally the entirety of my career. And I’m going to make that different. I’m going to make that different for the next generation. »
from Business Insider http://ift.tt/1OHfMIT