Megan Rapinoe and the rest of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team are getting a bump from an unlikely source ... Procter & Gamble is vowing to fork over more than half a mil as a step toward equal pay.
The giant consumer goods corporation -- which supports U.S. Soccer through its Secret deodorant brand -- took an ad in The New York Times Sunday, calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation and others to pay the female players as much as the men.
Then, they upped the ante by promising to donate a cool $529,000 to the team to help close the wage gap after the USWNT won the World Cup this year. That's about $23k for each of the 23 players on the team ... not a bad bonus all things considered.
P&G's ad reportedly read, in part, "Let's take this moment of celebration to propel women's sports forward. We urge the US Soccer Federation to be a beacon of strength and end gender pay inequality once and for all."
This, of course, follows the women beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the championship game last week ... but with seemingly little to zero movement to get the ladies paid as equally as the men, who don't win nearly as often as the women do. Tons of folks -- including Rapinoe herself -- have been calling on U.S. Soccer and FIFA to balance things out, but their pleas appear to be falling on deaf ears thus far.
EXCLUSIVE: World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe says she will continue her fight for equal pay #MTP#IfItsSunday@mPinoe: "I am going to fight for equal pay, every day. For myself, for my team and for every single person ... man, woman, immigrant, U.S. citizen, person of color" pic.twitter.com/YSTvYEMdrB
And, just to give you a sense of the difference in pay -- reports say the women's team have contracts that guarantee them salaries of about $100k, with bonuses thrown in for wins. The men, meanwhile, reportedly have a pay-to-play structure, with much larger payouts for wins, and even guaranteed money for losses.
According to The Washington Post -- which claims to have seen and analyzed these contracts -- a professional female soccer player would make just 89% of what her male counterpart would make if they both played and won 20 exhibition games. If they lost all of them, the pay would be equal at $100k. When it comes to FIFA ... their prize money to the winning teams for their tournaments has a discrepancy between men and women of about 10.5%.