Why USWNT Should Not Earn Equal Wages

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Before anyone is too offended, let me begin by saying that women’s soccer players are very talented and deserve a fair pay for those talents, but fair pay and equal pay are not the same thing. It is amazing what the USWNT has done at the international level and they are all phenomenal soccer players and deserve to earn a fair paycheck based on that, but it is ridiculous to compare men’s and women’s soccer as equal.

Should the stars of the WNBA make the same as the NBA? No, and they know they shouldn’t. The NBA draws more fans in and their talents and athletic abilities are superior to those of the WNBA. That’s not a knock on women’s basketball because they are very talented athletes, but they cannot do what the men can do with a basketball so why should their pay be equal? The same goes for soccer. It is simply a fact that men are physically more gifted than women and that allows them to play the game at a different level, so how does that justify equal pay? In any other career, such as the business world, a woman can do anything that a man can do and they deserve to make equal if not more than a man if they are better at that specific job. But in the world of athletics men just play at a different level and they should earn higher wages.

The players who filed the lawsuit against U.S Soccer argue that they have more viewers than the men do and for that alone they should be paid equally. Unfortunately for them the numbers do not align. Yes, the women’s World Cup final against Japan drew a record number of viewers in the United States, but why wouldn’t the country support their national team in a World Cup final. In the 2014 World Cup, the men’s first round games against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany were viewed by 11,100,000, 18,220,000, and 10,800,000 English speaking viewers with an average of 13,374,000. The women had 5,043,000, 4,500,000, and 3,311,000 with an average of 4,285,000…not even close in terms of popularity. The men averaged 567,000 viewers for English speaking networks for all 2015 International Friendlies whereas the women averaged 333,000 for international friendlies. How does that scream equal pay? It is a fact that more people prefer to watch the USMNT play as opposed to USWNT. Even with the record 25 million who watched the women win the World Cup final, they still averaged 8,151,000 viewers for all 2015 World Cup games whereas the men averaged 14,156,000 for all of their 2014 World Cup matches. There is nothing equal about that.

If the USWNT want to make what the USMNT makes they need to start by promoting their professional league better. Most people do not even know there is a professional league. The National Women’s Soccer League had a highest attendance of 16,017, a low of 953, and an average of 4,804 during the 2015 season. Yes, it is a relatively new league but if they want to earn high wages like the men do, they need to start promoting their club teams and make women’s soccer popular every year, not just every four years. The MLS saw a highest attendance of 44,247, a low of 15,657 and an average of 21,574 during the 2015 season. The MLS has been around longer but that is a big factor of why they make more money! More fans stay up to date with the men’s players and they show that by supporting them year in and year out, not just when it is time for a World Cup.

Abby Wambach, a recent DUI recipient might I add, has publicly called out USMNT Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, saying he should be fired for “bringing in a bunch of these foreign guys.” Should a team be blamed for having a diverse squad? Shouldn’t every organization take pride in having a body of people who represent every race, including dual-citizens? Should the “foreign guys” who grew up overseas because they had a parent in the military stationed in Europe be labeled less American, and that be a reason for firing the coach? There is a double standard that now exists and their best shot at knocking the men’s team is saying they should fire their coach for having dual citizens. That is not the best way at trying to get equal pay.

The USWNT should earn a bump in pay for their recent World Cup title because that does a lot for the country and for their sport in general. But to say they should make what the men make is absurd at this point in time. Maybe in the future, if they can keep growing in popularity with viewers and they are able to promote their league better and bring in more fans on a regular basis, then the argument could be very valid, but until then it is nonsense.

The Power and Influence of College Football Programs

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With the most recent allegations surrounding the University of Tennessee, it appears another case of Football Program vs. University is underway. If the allegations are true, Tennessee football has failed at covering up a serious issue and imposing its power on the actual university. It could most certainly end with Head Coach Butch Jones losing his job after calling one of his players a “traitor” for aiding one of the alleged rape victims. In the report this player also claims he was physically abused by teammate and star defensive player, Curt Maggitt, amongst verbal abuse from other teammates as well. Again, at this point everything is speculation, but if the events do end up having some truth to them, Tennessee will be caught red handed trying to cover up a serious crime against a university student at the hands of the football players and even the head of the program, Butch Jones. This is just another prime example of how football programs at major universities have gained so much power over the years, mainly because of the profits that they bring in. Tennessee is not the only program to wield their power over the university and they most certainly will not be the last.

The University of Alabama recently reported their finances to the NCAA and it showed that they brought in a net profit of 46 million dollars. To put that in perspective, the rest of the athletic teams brought in 16 million dollars in revenue, so without the football program’s profits, the athletic department as a whole would have lost about 30 million dollars after expenses. These enormous profits give the football program an unreal amount of power in the university and allows them to have leverage over university matters. So when a situation arises that could potentially hurt the football program, they just exercise that power and do whatever it takes to ensure that their image and potential earnings will not take a big hit. Some schools are just better at having absolute power and not getting caught using their influence.

It is to no one’s surprise that these allegations have hit Florida State University’s football program on a few different instances. Everyone knew about the Jameis Winston rape scandal in which he won the case, but many people concluded that we will never know the real story because the law enforcement in Tallahassee did what was necessary to ensure that the program would not take a hit by losing their star quarterback. In another case, both starting cornerbacks for FSU were involved in a collision late into the night in which they ran into another car and fled the scene. When they eventually returned to the scene, officers who originally labeled the incident as a hit and run, just gave the driver two traffic tickets and he never had to participate in an alcohol test and after a few days it seemed as if the incident never happened. If that had happened to a normal university student, would the circumstances and punishment have been the same? It is no secret anymore that these major football programs have power and are the dominant organization in these college towns.

There are many other examples which seem to never end, like the University of Florida having 80 athletes named as suspects in crimes from 2009-2014 but many of the cases resulted in charges being dropped or the athletes never being prosecuted. An example being the infamous Aaron Hernandez, who admitted to drinking underage and hitting a bar manager but the police never charged him with underage drinking or battery but allowed the coaching staff to handle it internally. Would a student who was caught drinking underage and striking someone else get the same luxury?

We can all be at fault for these incidents because of the support we have for our sports teams. The fans make the athletes feel like they have the power to do anything because they are famous and do a lot for the brand of the university in which they play for. They are put on a platform at a very young age and many have not developed the maturity to handle being a star athlete yet. When the teams keep bringing in so much money for the university and for the city it is hard to not let them have this power. It has become an issue that cannot be fixed overnight or easily resolved because we all love college football and would never think that our favorite teams are capable of corruption but the sad reality is that this will probably continue to happen as long as money is being made and the athletes continue to feel like they are invincible.

The Unfair Criticism of Cam Newton

If your highest level of athletic achievements includes making the JV team, flag football star, intramural champion or any other related title, then this article may or may not offend you. Those seem to be the type of “athletes” that love to share their vast knowledge and experience all over social media.

Why is this guy starting off this article with offensive jabs you may ask? Well, I’m very tired of hearing about Cam Newton walking out of his press conference after losing Super Bowl 50 and how he is the most immature baby to ever throw a football.

For any Panthers fan, it must have been tough watching their beloved quarterback thrown to the ground and failing to produce the MVP caliber numbers he produced all season. Personally, it has been tough listening to a bunch of people who have never put so much effort into a high level sporting event and failed, much less a Super Bowl, talk about how Cam Newton is the most unprofessional athlete in football for being too emotional after a game. To clarify, I do think it is part of the job to address the media, win or lose, and that all comes with experience of playing in big games, but can we not cut the guy a break for being upset after not only losing the Super Bowl, but struggling to perform on the biggest stage, and then being asked to answer questions about that loss while a player (Chris Harris Jr.) from the Denver Broncos is sharing the same room answering his questions about the Broncos’ victory and his great performance, which he has every right to revel and celebrate, but wouldn’t that anger you if you had just lost the biggest game of your life?

cam-newton-0207162-getty-ftr-usjpg_1xxjod9gm8xrk1veu5ogqbnmwpLets not forget that Peyton Manning left the field without shaking hands with the New Orleans Saints after his Super Bowl loss. Peyton will probably go down as one of the most respectful athletes in all of sports, and a true professional of the game, but even the great Peyton Manning was angry and showed that emotion after losing his chance at victory. Showing no emotion and acting as if life is good right after losing a huge game like the Super Bowl is easier said than done. The players put so much effort and heart into that game and then fall short, are they not allowed to sulk right after? In a perfect world every athlete should be congratulatory of their opponent, address the media and say all of the right things. But unfortunately that does not always happen right after the game is finished and it takes a perfect person to do that after every loss.

So unless you have been in that moment and handled it like a true professional, how can you relate? Sure, Cam has some maturing to do, but don’t we all? I’ll bet he has learned his lesson and will handle it differently next time, but until then is it too much to ask that the criticism come down? These athletes do a great job of entertaining their talents for all of us fans, and many serve as great role models, but when they have just failed on the biggest stage in America, maybe we can cut them some slack for not wanting to talk about it while the emotions of the game are still intact. Agree or disagree? Would love to hear why!