#genderpaygap

Sports Illustrated defines our woke age

You have to hand it to society nowadays. So desperate are people to appear virtuous they will go above and beyond to prove themselves worthy. Sports awards tend to be a mix of on-field performance and off-field service to promote the game for the greater good.

Megan Rapinoe has won the Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year. Yes, the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) has won the Soccer World Cup back to back. It is an admirable achievement even though the USWNT were defeated 5-2 by a bunch of 14yo boys from Dallas.

260m watched the Women’s Soccer World Cup final in 2019. The 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia saw 1.12bn tune in for the final. 4.3x the audience. Sponsors are well aware of this and tailor advertising dollars accordingly. If the women’s teams garnered more eyeballs, we can be guaranteed women would be paid more.

Unfortunately, Rapinoe is such a dreadful role model for children even though she ticks the diversity and LGBT boxes. Her profanity-laden victory parade speech (in front of kids) after the World Cup win (from 6:30 in the video) was all class. All about identity politics and screaming for “equal pay” even though the stats reveal the USWNT gets more funding than the men’s team (USMNT). The USMNT generates more revenues, despite the poorer results.

Yet Rapinoe defines the age. All about equal pay regardless of revenue generated. Perhaps every soccer player in the world should be benchmarked against Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus. Perhaps his 81mn Twitter followers and talent allow him to charge a premium for his services which the market is willing to bear i.e. $108mn in 2019. Neymar should be up in arms for the pithy $90m at Real Madrid! Surely those on the bench should be protesting the fact they aren’t on an even playing field! Equal Pay, Equal Pay!

If Sports Illustrated truly wanted to brand a female success story in sports against the odds and shove it in the face of the white patriarchy, they could have championed the brilliance of 21yo Spanish rider Ana Carrasco, who became the first-ever woman to win a world motorcycle racing championship competing alongside men. She won the World Supersport 300s crown. If there was ever a better display of rising to a challenge in a sport dominated by males, this was it! She beat them all! More than that she embodies great sportsmanship.

CM wrote in January about her first-ever race win last year on equal machines with the boys. Shows that grit, determination and skill can make the difference without this recent desire to throw handicaps to even it out. Great job indeed to win on identical bikes.

Rapinoe is a talent in her own right. No one can dispute that. It is just a shame that it comes with all unnecessary identity politics based bluster.

Perhaps Sports Illustrated should heap lashings of praise on the Football Federation of Australia’s (FFA) kneeling at the altar of political correctness by carrying through with equal pay. Little does the FFA realise that pandering to social justice does nothing to win over fans. Because if the right talent isn’t paid accordingly, an overseas league will quickly bid the best players away and hollow out the local market. Attendance will drop and the revenues and sponsorship dollars will dry up with it. Doesn’t require rocket science.

The Aussie women’s Matildas achieved a peak crowd attendance of 16,829. The men’s Socceroo team saw 77,060 supporters at ANZ Stadium on 15 November 2018. 4.6x more fans watched the men’s national team over the women’s. It is nothing to do with gender. Fans prefer watching the men’s game, including women. Because of that, sponsors are willing to pay for greater exposure.

That isn’t casting aspersions on the female players per se. It is just that sports will always be driven by the sponsorship dollar. In certain fields, men get paid more than women. Perhaps male supermodels should take umbrage that Kate Moss gets paid multiples more for the same job.

When equal pay turns into the demand for preferential treatment

Pity poor Sam Kerr. The $2m. p.a. Australian Matildas player was not allowed to board a Jetstar flight due to her damaged passport. After the attainment of equal pay with the men’s side (Socceroos) in the last month, it seems Kerr doesn’t understand that the airline gets fined (c.$3,500) for allowing passengers to travel with damaged documents. Was she aware of this?

While the damage to her passport might look superficial to us and as much as we might think of Jetstar as a one star airline for service, she should have taken better care of the document. Get over it.

What is it with the Qantas group and grumpy passengers in the last few weeks? Another sign of the self-entitled taking to Twitter to air grievances when they are in the wrong.

Democrats doing what Democrats do best

So the Democrats are proposing a bill to pull federal funding for the 2026 World Cup if the US Soccer Federation (USSF) doesn’t fix the gender pay gap between the men’s and women’s teams.

Surely in a country that dominates the world in inflated sports contracts based on performance that these politicians might be on top of the idea that it is driven by the market, not by socialism and equality. The superstars in sports on balance have the edge that many of us do not possess.

If the women’s team was paid more than the men’s team, would Manchin seek to redress the inequality back the other way? Here is betting he wouldn’t say a word. CM has always argued women should be paid more than men should the economics support it.

When it comes to soccer the women’s World Cup generated $131m in revenues vs the men’s World Cup at $6bn. There is a reason for that. If sponsors see that the women’s game is such a great opportunity to market then they’ll flock without the need for legislation.

Forbes addresses the equal pay argument in soccer

Forbes has thrown light on the gender pay gap in women’s soccer. The numbers are rather telling. As CM has always stated, if the earn more than then men they should Ben paid more, not equally. Journalist Michael Ozanian notes,

France earned $38 million from FIFA for winning soccer’s World Cup in Russia, while the women’s champion in France this summer will earn just $4 million, has prompted outrage…

…The total prize money for the Women’s World Cup in France this July will be $30 million compared with total prize money of $440 million for the men’s teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar…

…The men still pull the World Cup money wagon. The men’s World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million, less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women’s World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.”

Thanks to JL for the flag.

Equal pay! Equal pay!

No longer is pride in representing a nation the core of a major sporting event. It is all about activism and grievance. The oppression obsession. The crowd joined in shaming the FIFA boss and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) based off little or no true understanding of the facts at the women’s World Cup Final. The stadium would have made Kim Jong-un blush at the symbiotic coordination. It felt eerily similar to the crowd scene from 1984. It is unfortunately so telling of today’s society. Never have they had it so good, but act is if they’ve never had it so bad.

However isn’t the point of playing for one’s country about the “pride” in representing it? If Rapinoe hates Trump, that is one thing and her personal choice. She is not alone. Should her personal pet grievances outweigh the 330m other Americans she represents? Why not ask for the flag to be removed from her strip?

If she wants to kneel during the national anthem she is nothing more than a hypocrite who seeks to rub it in the face of those who have pride in their country. She is a conditional citizen. Much like those Hollywood celebrities who claimed they’d leave the country if Trump won. He did and they’re still all there.

If Rapinoe wants to truly protest, she should refuse to play. She should sit out and watch America flail and then witness the USSF panic as sponsors dry up and have them run to her. Yet the trappings are such that her principles take a back seat to the expediency of the luxuries afforded by her talent.

She can rant all she wants outside the field. Free speech. CM is all for that. She has a profile to do that. Yet when representing the country, why not respect her fellow citizens rather than throw the toys out of the pram using profanity against a democratically elected president? What she doesn’t realise is her wokeness is exactly the type of thing that will produce the same result in the 2020 election. People are sick and tired of the constant political correctness dragged into places it needn’t be. She is only going to retard the growth in the sport if she continues turning a beautiful game into a platform of white noise.

Rapinoe may tell the media that “we’re over it” with respect to equal pay. However has she considered that if she stopped being such a brat that even more sponsors might beat a path to her door? If she displayed the types of values that represent those of the sponsors and broader society rather than lower the level to the man she repudiates she might surprise herself? Set the standard, Megan! Don’t lower yourself to it. Is having a high number of LGBT players truly the secret sauce of the US team as you claim?

What if men identifying as women demand a place in the side? Physically they’ll dominate the women players as they are already doing in so many areas of sport. Don’t they deserve an equal opportunity? If they trial and outplay all the biological women, will you begrudge them? Or accept that “Science is science. Trans rule“? The Democratic Party has enshrined trans players in women’s sports as policy. Be careful what you wish for.

For the record, CM has always stated equal pay in sports is a farcical quest. It has never been equal. Nor should it be, because the talent pool would never be able to be developed in a way that is self sustaining for the audiences to watch it. Cristiano Ronaldo gets $100m per year because he is “that good”. He sells more strips each year than his fellow teammates. He scores lots of goals. He gets endorsements because he is so talented. Corporations see a return in the investment. Ronaldo has 78 million Twitter followers vs his Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos who has a pitiful 16m. Rapinoe has 725,000. Should she get paid the same as Ronaldo? US men’s soccer team player Landon Donovan has 1.3m followers. Does the USSF see that the box office is sadly still skewed to the men’s game?

If we truly want ‘equal pay‘, shouldn’t we demand that each player plays for exactly the same amount of time and limit the physical distance they run? After all it would be unfair for one player to do less or more work than another. If the goalie had to be included in the physical exercise equality argument then field players could only have a two minute stint at best. 10 players would need to be replaced every two minutes of the 90 played meaning a 450 player side. With GPS tracking, the rules of the game can be changed so that can be accommodated in theory.

We know that such a game would be boring to watch and cause audiences to abandon such spectacles because professionals sports require no participation medals. We cheer the player that has the extra stamina, skill and guile to win matches and pay to watch that privilege. Not watch a game where talent is castrated.

For starters, Rapinoe should address the inequality within women’s soccer, before targeting the broader gender pay gap. No doubt she gets paid a lot more than some of her lesser known teammates. No one discusses that factoid. Crowds consumed by propaganda based group think champion the causes of people who already earn probably way more than they’ll ever do. Were the crowd chants aimed at the Dutch women too? Or just the Americans who were the ones fighting this pay dispute.

CM is also on record for saying that female tennis players should be paid more than men for the higher audiences they attract. The reality is outside of the World Cup, women’s soccer does not attract the revenues of the men’s game (partly due to men’s game having decades more time to develop). That will take time. It is hard to find willing sponsors to even it up if the return on that endorsement is lower. Sponsors aren’t just rich benefactors.

In closing, shame on the crowds for dragging an international event into a twisted spectacle. What they don’t realise is that such actions will only work against them. Fans want to escape the stresses of daily life, not pay high ticket prices to have it directly served up. Maybe the #USWNT needs to look at what has happened to the NFL after political correctness engulfed it.

Megan, a bigger truism is that, “Economics is economics. The market rules!”

NZ Rugby vs Rugby Australia – the franchise stats

Well, well, we’ll. Who’d a thunk? NZ Rugby (NZR) is focused on the game, not appearing to be woke. Is it any wonder Australia are unlikely to win the Bledisloe Cup for many more years to come. The investment NZR pour into the All Blacks swamps Rugby Australia’s (RA) pittance into the Wallabies because sponsors and fans see the Kiwi franchise for what it is – a united team of winners with returns!

It shouldn’t surprise us when RA & NZR reveal primary objectives.

Objective 1 in the NZR 2018 Annual Report is “REMAINING ON TOP OF THE WORLD” (p.18)

Objective 1 in RA’s 2018 Annual Report is written as, “For rugby to continue to be a sport of choice in a rapidly changing society…community coaches are responsible…for creating fun, safe and inclusive environments” (p.10).

With that RA mantra, NZR is faced with a longer term dilemma. Because the fans might have to consider they might “get tired of all this winning!”

In all seriousness, NZR should seek to form a new version of the Bledisloe with a worthy adversary in Europe because the Wallabies will drift even further away from being competitive with RA focused on such utter malarkey.

Or to even it up, perhaps the All Blacks under-18s should play the Wallabies?

So why the gap? The numbers between the two are as follows.

RA took in approximately A$30m in licensing and sponsorship last year. NZR raked in A$65m. More than double for a country with one-fifth the population. Think about it. The advertising base is smaller yet the sponsors must see the returns as superior to do so.

Total revenues for RA sum to around A$110m. NZR takes in A$182m in 2018.

Match day revenue for RA reached A$20m last year. NZR collected A$28m.

Total assets for RA sum to A$69m. NZR total assets are A$183m. Total equity for RA is A$27m vs NZR at $99m.

Just looking at financial metrics alone, RA is not going to rebuild this franchise without focusing on what NZ already knows. The business has one sole focus – the pride of a nation.

Should we be surprised that Eden Park has been sold out every game since 1962 when the All Blacks play the Wallabies? That’s a franchise. Maybe RA should ask why Australian based attendance of the same series has drifted 20-35% in the last decade.

Until the Wallabies have a priority that focuses on a winning formula that is driven from the top, expect to see turnstiles become rusty.

Pathetic really. This is exactly why the RA board and leadership need a complete overhaul. Amateurs playing against professionals. Get woke. Go broke.

Gender pay gap in US soccer?

US Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand railed at the gender pay gap between the US Soccer men’s team and women’s team after the latter thrashed Thailand 13-0.

Democratic Senator and perennial identity politician Elizabeth Warren also chipped in with her slant on things about how it is high time to address the pay gap!

Former Republican Senator Orrin Hatch asked the U.S. Soccer Federation to “end this two-tiered, gender-based structure that has unfairly discriminated against female athletes.”

Before US senators took to bashing the US Soccer Federation (USSF), a quick look at the Annual Report for 2018 reveals that “expenses” on the national women’s team were higher than the men’s.

By the numbers, women’s expenditure grew 25% to $17.13m in 2018 over the previous year while the men’s slid 35% to $14.63m (down from $22.43m in 2017). While expenditures aren’t completely broken down, one can assume that this adjustment includes paying for performance.

When boiled down, the expenses allocated to the women’s national team came in at 24% of overall expenses in 2018 from 18% in 2017. Men fell from 30% of the total to 20% over the same time period.

Unless multiple men’s team players have been sacked and there are surplus female players the pay gap is probably swinging in favour of the fairer sex. Or could it be that the governing body is exercising good governance?

Whatever it is, even better to see the investment in the youth national team and player development which has risen from $23.2m to $27.4m.

If only female soccer star Megan Rapinoe could casts aside her Trump Derangement Syndrome and sing the national anthem because she’s representing her country.

Not surprising to see own goals kicked by politicians who don’t look at the facts.

Perhaps the US women’s soccer team should address the pay gap between themselves first. Then once that is complete go after the blokes.