The victory has drawn attention to how comparatively little female athletes make

By Drew Mackie
Updated July 07, 2015 01:40 AM

The U.S. Women’s National Team scored what may well be its most high-profile victory ever on Sunday, and more sports fans than ever have been given good reason to follow women’s soccer.

However, in the wake of the team’s big win over Japan, one article pointing out the disparity between how female and male athletes are paid has gone viral – and for good reason, too. Many people might be surprised to know that the champion women’s team makes about 40 times less than the U.S. men’s soccer team.

An op-ed on Politico points out that the 2014 World Cup winners received $575 million in prize money, while the second-place team received $25 million.

For winning the Women’s World Cup, however, the American team will receive $15 million – just a hair more than one-40th of the $575 million that their male counterparts made.

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As Politico notes, that’s indicative in general of difference between what women are paid to play soccer and what men are paid to do the same. Salaries in the National Women’s Soccer League range between $6,000 and $30,000, which “may put some players below the poverty line in the cities in which they compete,” the piece states.

A similar article on Buzzfeed points out that the disparity also means the smaller bonuses for winning: The U.S. Women’s National Team will get a $2 million prize bonus, whereas the German men’s team that won the 2014 World Cup got a $35 million bonus.

Sunday’s game was watched by 25.4 million viewers, which the New York Times notes made it the most-watched televised soccer event ever in U.S. history.