I wasn’t going to blog about the U.S. women’s soccer team being honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City today, because the hate at least two of its players have for the country they were supposed to be representing left far too sour a taste in my mouth.
But two things happened that caused me to reconsider.
One was the enormous number of American Flags displayed during the parade and the chants of “USA!” “USA!” both during the parade and when the team was on the stage.
If megan rapinoe and any other likeminded players had the courage of their convictions, they would not have gone on that stage with all those flags and chants.
But, apparently, copping some personal glory is far more important to them. Principles – in this case disrespect/disdain for our flag and the country it stands for – ends when it costs them a few accolades.
Trust me when I tell you I wasn’t one of the people cheering.
The other thing that happened was New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo proudly announcing new, just-passed legislation which makes it mandatory for female soccer players to be paid equally with males. (The exact wording is to “prohibit unequal pay on the basis of a protected class for all substantially similar work.”)
Brilliant idea, Governor Cuomo.
Now: are you going to enforce that for basketball too? Because the day you force the same pay scale for women’s professional basketball as for men’s, is the day women’s professional basketball ends in New York. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) New York Liberty will immediately shut its doors.
Why? Because there is nothing equal about the interest level in men’s versus women’s basketball, or in the size of the crowds or in the price people are willing to pay for tickets, or in how much teams can charge advertisers before being turned down.
If the New York Liberty owners have to pay their players what the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets of the NBA pay, they are summarily out of business.
So, congratulations on your “slam dunk” with soccer, to prove what an equalitarian you are. And now we’ll watch you look the other way for women’s basketball…
…because, in the real world, the market determines price. Not a Governor putting on a show for his base.
And, no, this is not a case of me thinking women are worth less than men. I have spent my life working with, and for, women and I 100% believe in sexual equality. Always have and always will. This is a case of me recognizing that there are two products here, and has a monetary value far in excess of the other, with a concomitant pay scale.
Idealists who ignore conflicts between their idealism and real-world conditions do not have to worry at all about something like this. Owners of the businesses, who deal in profit and loss, do. End of story.