gold mckayla maroney


magificent 7 // fierce 5 // final 5

     atlanta 1996 // london 2012 // rio 2016 

         olympic team gold

The World Cup & Why I’m Pissed Off.

I’ve grown up my entire life loving the sport of soccer.  My dad played for the Moroccan National Team in the 1970’s and refereed league games across Texas for almost 20 years after he became a citizen in the mid 1980s.  I played soccer for 10 years and think it’s an awesome sport.  (I was also a member of a dance company for 10 years, however at the tender age of 10 I got into a disagreement about wearing a leotard and quit.  Seriously, who the fuck would want to be creative with their body while wearing a fucking one piece bathing suit?)

Olympic Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney is NOT impressed by your devotion to men’s soccer.

Anyway, the FIFA World Cup is going on right now and I can’t help but being pissed off.  Every single “#IBelieveThatWeWillWin” status or tweet and friend that has conveniently taken up using the word “futbol” because it makes them seem trendy pisses me off.  Why?  Because this time next year, when the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team plays in Canada for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, I highly doubt I will see any snazzy hashtags of faux patriotism.  Because it’s women kicking a ball around on a field and that’s boring for some reason.

Did you know that the United States Women’s National Soccer Team has won the Women’s World Cup TWICE and won 6 gold medals in 6 different Olympics?

Here’s some statistics about the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team:

  • World Cup wins: 2; 1991 and 1999
  • Current ranking in the world: #1.
  • Lowest ranking in the world ever:  #2.
  • Gold medals in: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup: Gold-‘91 Gold-'99 Silver-'11 Bronze-'95, '03, '07

The highest goal scoring American woman: Abby Wambach-167 goals.
The highest goal scoring American man:  Landon Donovan- 57 goals.

But Americans don’t care. Because a group of American men made it to the group of 16 for the first time since the World Cup began in 1930. So that makes them patriotic underdogs because “sports are harder for men”.  The last time I checked, a professional soccer team, male or female, plays on the same size field, shoot at the same size goal box and kick the same size soccer ball.  They have the same amount of players on the field and both play two 45 minute halves.

It Gets Worse…

40% of all athletes are women.  But female athletes and female athletic teams only receive 4% of media coverage compared to male athletes.  In a 2010 study by the University of Southern California Center for Feminist Research, 96.3% of airtime over a six week period was dedicated to male sports.  The study also found that over the two decades of the ongoing study, ESPN’s televised coverage of women’s sports dropped from around 2% to 1.4%.  

“I’m giving those statistics a red card because they’re fucking disturbing.”

Show Me The Money!

Since its inception in 1997, the WNBA has 12 teams.  As of 2013, each WNBA team has a salary cap of $900,000.  As of 2010, a player with 3+ years experience earned a minimum of $51,000.  A player with 6+ years of experience could earn a maximum of $101,500.  A rookie will earn $35,190.  

But of course, there’s bonuses! Because when you excel at something, you should be rewarded.  Take a look at these numbers:

WNBA Champion Team: $10,500
Runner-up: $5,250
MVP: $15,000
Rookie of the year: $5,000
All WNBA First Team Selection: $10,000 

If you’re a female professional soccer player, be prepared to play all year long to support yourself because most players start at a whopping $6,000. The maximum earning potential for a professional female soccer player in the U.S. is between $32,000 and $40,000.  

Here’s the average salaries of men’s sports in the U.S.:

  • MLS- $141,903 
  • NBA- $5.15 million
  • MLB- $3.2 million
  • NHL- $2.4 million
  • NFL- $1.9 million 

I know, right?!?!

Hopefully, at this point, you’re just as pissed off as me and you’re also wondering the same thing as me:  Why are female professional athletes paid less and given substantially less media attention?  

Some say it’s because watching women play sports is boring.  (GREAT explanation.) Others say it’s because the level of competitiveness is lower and less aggressive. (Did you not see Brittney Griner hit Jordan Barncastle in the face when Baylor played Texas Tech?!)
Many say it’s because women’s sports are easier than men’s sports.  (I don’t understand that one either.)  

I don’t have the answer.  But I do think that the fact that young girls across the United States are being stunted in their self-esteem and emotional growth because there are very few outlets for them to see female professional athletes.  Perhaps if there was more media coverage of women’s sports, we would have more outstanding female athletes like Gabby Douglas, Brittney Griner, and Megan Rapinoe.

 Perhaps if young girls saw more female professional athletes, their self-esteem would increase by the time they hit puberty instead of plummeting.

 What do you think?

-Nonnie, AoC Senior Graphic Designer, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator


USA Gymnastics… UNDEFEATED since 2011…

-2011 City of Jesolo Trophy: Juniors (1st): 233.050, Seniors (1st): 232.250

-2011 World Championships: 1st: 179.411

-2011 Pan American Games: 1st: 219.750

-2012 Pacific Rim Championships: 1st: 239.700

-2012 City of Jesolo Trophy: Juniors (1st): 226.850, Seniors (1st): 236.950

-2012 Olympic Games: 1st: 183.596

-2013 City of Jesolo Trophy: 1st: 234.250

-2013 USA, Germany, Romania: Tri-Meet: 1st: 234.050

-2014 City of Jesolo Trophy: Juniors (1st): 228.000, Seniors (1st): 231.650

-2014 Pacific Rim Championships: 1st: 237.000

-2014 World Championships: 1st: 179.280