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Kavitha A. Davidson

A Free Market in Soccer Would Pay Women More

Economic explanations for the gap in sports payrolls don't add up.
Reward in itself?

Reward in itself?

Photographer: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

It's been four months since the U.S. team won the Women's World Cup, and as the joy of victory wanes, the grim realities of inequality in soccer linger. Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a resolution urging the sport's global body, FIFA, to pay men and women equally. Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, it was just a symbolic measure, a message to global soccer's leadership that pay equity should be prioritized. But Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee's objection spoke volumes more.

"We have a budget to pass. We have a debt crisis to fix. We have an education system that needs reform," Alexander said. "That's what the United States Senate ought to be spending time on, rather than offering opinions and resolutions about a private international entity and how they should award prizes."