Women in sports: Equal play, equal pay?

Full Frame

Mimi Knoop and Cara-Beth Burnside Professional skateboarders Mimi Knoop and Cara-Beth Burnside talk about getting female skaters equal prize money.

Earlier this year, members of the U.S. women’s soccer (football) team made global headlines when they filed a complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging wage discrimination.

Their argument is simple: their salaries are vastly unfair compared to their male counterparts, despite the fact that they generate far more revenue for the federation than the men’s team. Much of the disparity in wages between the men’s and women’s teams is a result of the different ways the players are paid. The women earn set salaries while the men are paid based on national team appearances, game results and other factors. The very different pay structures were set up under separate collective bargaining agreements negotiated by unions for the men’s and women’s teams.

Talks are ongoing between players and the U.S. Soccer Federation, but last week CBS news reported that the team is prepared to go on strike when its contract expires on Dec. 31. The U.S. women’s team has won three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals.

Women in sports: Equal play, equal pay?

Sandra Hughes catches up with professional skateboarders Mimi Knoop and Cara-Beth Burnside who fought to get female skaters equal prize money.

But as Full Frame contributor Sandra Hughes found out, economic disparity has a long history in women’s professional sports, but female athletes are taking a firm stance against this ugly side of the careers they love.

In this week’s story, Hughes catches up with Mimi Knoop and Cara-Beth Burnside, two professional skateboarders fought to get female skaters equal prize money at the X-Games and made history in the process.

“We’ve been able to grow our own audience [and] fan base pretty widely just having direct access to social media and being able to put out content that way,” Knoop said. “I feel like there a lot of doors that are open now that weren’t just a few years ago.”