There are two ways to look at everything in life: how things are, and how they should be.

We all understand that two people can look at the exact same object or issue and see two completely different things. It’s what make us all unique as people, and over the last two decades it’s what has sadly divided us as a nation.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won their fourth World Cup title Sunday in France, beating the Netherlands 2-0.

Normally, we Americans would completely and whole-heartedly wrap our collective arms around this group of skilled women who extended our country’s dominance in women’s soccer around the world.

But that did not happen—not this time.

As is the case almost everywhere we turn these days, there was a strong undercurrent of politics and contentiousness surrounding the US side. They are brash and bold, and not afraid to speak their minds on about any topic that came up.

Their members jousted with President Trump via Twitter during the tournament, many of them pronouncing that they would not be visiting the White House after they returned home.

They spoke openly on the rights of women in aspects of life, and they took on all comers who challenged their views.

And, being honest, that sharp-edged sword is a big part of why they were successful in France. They are a confident bunch of young women who planted their flag and dared anyone to come and throw them off.

No one could.

One of the common topics surrounding their run to a record fourth title is how much they get paid to play.

You may or may not know that there is a professional women’s soccer league. It has nine teams, with the closest to us calling Chicago home.

The players of that league, whose stars made up the national team’s roster, have been loudly pointing out that they don’t make as much money in their league or playing on the national team as their male counterparts. And they are correct, they don’t.

That’s where the concept of “what is, and what should be” comes in.

Women deserve equal pay for doing the same work as their male counterparts—period. Unfort-unately, there is only one problem in this, and it is a major problem—women’s sports don’t generate the same amount of revenue that men’s sports do.

Notice, I did not say they weren’t as important. I did not say the women players were not as skilled. I didn’t say the quality of play in the women’s game was not as high.

But it is a proven fact that women’s sports teams and leagues do not bring in nearly the cash flow that men’s do.

And that’s a proven fact at all levels. You won’t see as many people attend a high school girls game as they do a boys game involving the same two schools. The men’s NCAA Final Four is almost always played in some sort of domed stadium with 60,000-plus watching in person and millions more watching at home, while the women’s finals are played in 20,000-seat arenas and under much less hoopla. And even the NBA Summer League is swamping the WNBA for attention this summer.


I just don’t know.

My record on this is pretty clear: I love girls’ and women’s sports. I have supported them in every way, including fighting for continuing our radio station’s coverage of Lady Tiger Basketball when sponsorship occasionally waned, giving the girls’ teams equal time on Tiger Talk and reading scores from both gender’s competitions on our local sports reports.

I look at them as equal and I have done my part to advocate for their equality over more than 30 years of broadcasting at Butler and here in Warsaw.

But we must be real in our assessment of this—girls’/women’s sports don’t generate the same money as boys’/men’s. They just don’t.

Is it fair? Nope.

Is it true? It is.

So while I would love to see Alex Morgan and her teammates get paid the same (or more based on the fact that they keep winning at the international level) as their male counterparts (who hid from the media after losing to Mexico 1-0 and being completely outclasses in Chicago Sunday night), they aren’t going to. I hate it, and I hope to see that change in my lifetime.

I’m not holding my breath.

But pay or no pay, women’s sports are important to me and I will continue to impress upon anyone who will listen to my voice that they should be valued by everyone in the same way the men’s are.

I can’t make you feel that way, and neither can anyone else.