Diana Matheson on the pay gap in women’s sports

Diana Matheson on the pay gap in women’s sports


I went to university, played soccer and
then after that I’ve been a full-time soccer player. What that looks like for us is a lot different
for men and women, obviously. The Canadian team is one of the top teams in the world. We have a lot of great players in the top leagues. But that doesn’t mean we’re making millions. We’re playing for a team during season but then in
off-season a lot of us stay with our parents. We don’t necessarily have our own place. We’re very nomadic and we kind of just get by. Most of the players of my generation and
before me, for sure, just played soccer they represented Canada because they
loved it. It’s never because of the money or they would have quit ages ago it was
just because you love to play soccer you loved being around the team and you
loved to represent Canada it was always such an honour for us. Just this scale right now, unfortunately,
internationally is totally different. If a men’s team qualifies for a World Cup they
get—give or take—around $10 million. If a women’s team wins a World Cup they get $2 million that goes towards their federation and
that’s all coming from FIFA. The game is definitely growing. Since I’ve been playing on the national team over the last 10 years it’s lightyears ahead of where it was when I started. The pay is getting better every single year. But there’s obviously still a gap and it’s
a gap we’re hoping to start closing. We need so much more support. I’d say mostly from businesses
from corporate Canada. We need more sponsorships. It’s so much smaller on the
women’s side of the game than the men’s side even though the Canadian public
knows who we are as much as men athletes, I think, at this point. And professional environments.
We need businesses to step up and so we can watch women play at home and
kids growing up can watch them play as well. So, we’re kind of in this unique
position where we have more of a platform than ever to do something.
So, it’s—it’s a responsibility, it’s a privilege it makes us feel motivated to push that issue so much farther than it is right now, so— I know for me and a lot of the players on
the team we’re using that as motivation and an opportunity to really push forward this issue of women’s pay
in women’s sports and we want to do that push forward this issue of women’s pay
in women’s sports and we want to do that other sports and other athletes in
Canada to do the same. Yeah, being a soccer player is obviously a full-time job. When we’re in camp it’s just non-stop it’s We’re out there training every day whether it’s
on field or in the gym. When we’re in camp it’s just non-stop it’s incredibly intense and—and at the end of
the day it’s always an honour to represent Canada. Especially with the support the support the team gets right now. It’s just always a privilege to put on that jersey.

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