Members of the United States women’s soccer team are fighting for higher pay from U.S. Soccer, alleging the discrepancy between what they make and what the men make represents wage discrimination.
Naturally, Landon Donovan, American soccer’s most outspoken hero has weighed in on the issue, arguing on Twitter that the women should not make as much as the men because they don’t bring in as much revenue as the men.
Donovan’s argument is pretty straight-forward, and he’s obviously correct that in business people who bring in more revenue are paid more. Whether that argument holds water in this case is for someone else to decide.
But Donovan’s point about salaries being collectively bargained feels kind of odd. Yes Landon, higher salaries can be collectively bargained, and the women’s players presumably hope to collectively bargain higher salaries…that’s what this is about. All the noise from the women’s team players about being paid as much as the men is part of an attempt to increase their own salaries. It’s all bargaining. Why is Donovan, a recently retired former player, taking such an pro-management perspective?
And, more importantly, why is Donovan weighing in on this at all? As a men’s player who earned millions of dollars in his career thanks to these salary discrepancies, is he really the right person to speak out against equal pay? Right or wrong, he comes off like a bitter dude who doesn’t want anyone else to have what he had.
No matter what Donovan believes about the fairness of the U.S. Soccer pay structure, there isn’t really any reason for him to take a stand against the women’s players he claims to support so enthusiastically, to basically argue his friends should be paid less.
Well there is one reason: Landon Donovan can’t keep his mouth shut about anything.