The U.S. national women’s soccer team has enjoyed considerable success in recent years. Despite bringing in more money than the men’s team, however, the women’s national team is still paid nearly four times less. That prompted Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo to take legal action against the U.S. Soccer Federation over pay discrimination in April 2016. Together with her teammates, she filed that lawsuit in April of last year and it is still ongoing. It is going to be difficult for Solo to close the wage gap in a sport where gender inequality is absolutely rampant. Its sheer scale can be seen from a new report from Sporting Intelligence which found that male Brazilian forward Neymar earns more than the top seven women’s soccer leagues combined.
Neymar made a lucrative switch from Barcelona to PSG this year and he will earn $43.8 million for the 2017-18 season from his playing contract alone. That doesn’t include the millions more he is likely to earn from commercial deals and endorsements. The figure is roughly the same as the combined earnings of the 1,693 female players plying their trade in the top soccer leagues in France, Germany, England, the U.S., Sweden, Australia and Mexico. In the U.S. National Women’ s Soccer League, collective earnings only add up to $5.4 million every year by comparison.