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May 17, 2018 - Image 4

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4

Thursday, May 17, 2018
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
OPINION

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.

W

omen
have
faced
inequality for as long
as we have had written
history – especially when it comes to
female athletes. Today, players on the
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team – the No.
1 women’s soccer team in the world
– get paid “as little as 40%” of those
on the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team. The
pay gap between male and female
athletes is glaringly obvious and
largely unjustified. In fact, it is often
overwhelming.
Furthermore, there is little to
no representation of women on
the governing bodies of sports
organizations and previous attempts
to
achieve
this
representation
have failed. In fact, only 18 percent
of board members were women
across the 28 international sports
federations, and this percentage
has been static from 2014 to 2016.
If women can’t even get onto the
boards of these organizations, how
can we expect any change?
Even the executives at FIFA admit
we shouldn’t be holding our breath
for equality; a former FIFA secretary
general for the organization stated
it might be “another 23 World Cups
before potentially women should
receive the same amount (of prize
money) as men.” This pay gap will
not close, and if it does, it will do so
very slowly. This means another
100 years until female athletes can
expect to be treated as equals to their
male counterparts. It asks women to
wait 100 more years to receive equal
compensation when they often have
to outperform men by a huge margin
just to gain any kind of respect. If

these organizations continue to
remain ignorant of this pressing
issue and fail to address it, female
athletes will never be able to close the
pay gap. Action needs to begin at the
top, and that means acknowledging
the issue, allowing women to speak
about it and implementing real policy
change.
At all levels of sport, male athletes
are held in a higher regard than
female athletes. Because of this,
it becomes much more difficult to
achieve equality. Speaking from
personal experience, I can say the
men’s teams always get priority.
In high school, they got the most
qualified coaches, the earlier practice
time and more money to pay for gear.
The athletic director of the school
advertised men’s games and not
women’s games. Our administrators
and teachers showed up to the men’s
games and not the women’s games.
As a result, students followed suit.
In
collegiate
athletics,
this
systematic inequity is most easily
seen in ticket prices. This study
shows men’s teams are thought to
be better simply because tickets
to their games cost more due to
the assumption that the price of a
product reflects its value. This issue
can be costly in terms of public
perception of women’s sports. The
public needs to understand female
athletes are just as valuable as male
athletes, but different ticket pricing
perpetuates the public’s perception
that men’s sports are more valuable.
At the University of Michigan,
season tickets for men’s basketball
cost $175; season tickets for women’s

basketball cost $45. Both teams were
ranked in the top 25 throughout the
season, both teams made the NCAA
tournament, both teams play in the
Big Ten and both teams play at Crisler
Center. Despite the similarities
in merit, location and schedule,
the women’s team had an average
attendance of 2,672 people per game
while the men’s team had an average
attendance of 11,121 people per game.
The public, a.k.a. the consumers,
need to know female athletics are
just as important as male athletics.
Without this understanding, the
sports world will continue to justify
the pay gap and other inequalities.
College athletes, both male and
female, put in a lot of time playing
their sport. It is disappointing to
know despite equal amounts of
hours of work, one team is valued
more by the University and therefore
its students. It is important that
inequality is stopped in its early
stages, and perhaps the University
can set an example for other colleges
and universities around the nation
by starting to level the playing field
for our young female athletes. They
work just as hard and are just as
talented; in fact, Katelynn Flaherty
became the all-time leading scorer
for Michigan basketball – male or
female – this year. With that kind
of talent should come equal respect,
and that should be reflected in ticket
prices, advertising and support from
the University as a whole.

ETHAN KESSLER | COLUMN

EMMA CHANG
Editorial Page Editor
EMMA RICHTER
Managing Editor

Emma Chang
Joel Danilewitz
Samantha Goldstein
Elena Hubbell
Emily Huhman
Tara Jayaram

Jeremy Kaplan
Sarah Khan
Magdalena Mihaylova
Ellery Rosenzweig
Jason Rowland

Anu Roy-Chaudhury
Alex Satola
Ali Safawi
Ashley Zhang
Sam Weinberger

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily’s Editorial Board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.

ASIF BECHER
Editor in Chief

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS

MARLEE BURRIDGE | COLUMN

The pay gap in women’s sports

Julia Montag can be reached at

jtmon@umich.edu.

Careening Towards Uncertainty
L

ast Tuesday afternoon
marked the beginning
of
a
new
chapter
for
America’s
Middle
East
policy. Ahead of the official
May 12th deadline, President
Trump announced his refusal
to recertify sanctions relief
for Iran, thereby
withdrawing
the
U.S.
from
the
landmark
2015
Iran nuclear deal.
By no measure
was
the
Iran
nuclear
deal,
known
officially
as
the
Joint
Comprehensive
Plan
of
Action,
JCPOA,
perfect.
Certain
aspects
and
provisions
of the deal have
no doubt proved
contrary to the interests of
Israel and the U.S. However,
Trump’s
dismissal
of
the
deal
without
an
apparent
replacement
or
follow-up
plan,
in
keeping
with
his
characteristically shortsighted
style, leaves America’s policy
towards Iran in a troubling
state of uncertainty.
The deal, although derided as
a temporary fix to a permanent
problem,
addressed
several
components of Iran’s budding
nuclear program which was
ostensibly for energy purposes
only but was agreed upon to
be military in nature by the
international
community.
All of these comprehensive
limitations
were
enforced
through mandatory inspections
by the United Nations’ nuclear
arm, the International Atomic
Energy Agency, IAEA.
In exchange for hobbling
its
nuclear
abilities,
Iran
would
be
relieved
of
the
crippling economic sanctions
that had followed its nuclear
development since 2006, which
had cost it hundreds of billions
of dollars by isolating it from
global financial markets and
limiting its oil exports. The
provisions of the deal, laid out
in ten and 15-year segments,
allowed
for
longer-term
arrangements to be made in the
interim, which could address
the larger issue of Iranian
nuclear capability.
The
lack
of
permanence
within
the
deal
was
only

natural,
as
Iran’s
extant
nuclear knowledge can never
be destroyed, nor can it legally
be denied the right to carry out
nuclear activity for peaceful
means. Iran’s regime clearly
deemed
the
possession
of
nuclear
weapons
beneficial
to its foreign
policy
goals
before
the
deal, and the
JCPOA
did
what it could
by successfully
presenting
sanctions relief
as a worthwhile
tradeoff
in
the
short-
term. Where
the
JCPOA
most
notably
faltered,
however,
was in the lack of concern it
demonstrated regarding Israel.

As Iran has collected the
windfalls
of
the
JCPOA’s
sanctions relief, it has spent
billions
to
arm
Hezbollah
and other Shiite militias in
Lebanon and Syria, as has
been adamantly expressed by
Israel. The use of sanctions
relief by Tehran to fund proxy
wars against Israeli interests
has
led
to
unprecedented
levels of conflict in the region,
weakening ties between the
U.S. and our strongest Middle
Eastern ally.
Trump’s
decision
to
withdraw
from
the
deal,
however, was most likely not
the result of a comprehensive
and balanced assessment. Since
his
presidential
campaign,
Trump has maintained the
deal’s nefarious one-sidedness.
Additionally, withdrawal from
the JCPOA is consistent with
Trump’s
persistent
hostility
towards both Obama’s legacy
and multilateral deals that
have taken the place of a more
traditional emphasis on policy.
The
long-term
ambitions
present in the U.S. withdrawal
are, instead, represented by
national-security
advisor
John Bolton and Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo. Bolton’s
hawkish propensity for regime

Continue reading on page 5.

“Since his
presidential
campaign,
Trump has
maintained the
deal’s nefarious
one-sidedness.”

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