Do facts still matter? The world today is said to be post-modern, post-humanist, post-Christian. Is it also post-fact?

A current example relates to the U.S. Women's Soccer team. They won. Excellent.

The Skagit Valley Herald's article ("U.S. wins 4th World Cup title, 2nd in a row, beats Dutch 2-0" July 7) continues what has been the pattern throughout the tournament: Coverage of the games themselves, along with a lot of fact-free discussion about gender equity. Specifically, some women athletes have put the spotlight on the pay gap between the men and women who play in their respective World Cup events.

FIFA is the organizing body for both. The men's share of revenues is about $400 million; the women's, $30 million. Sounds terribly unfair. At first. But here's where the facts get in the way of the narrative.

The 2018 men's tournament grossed $6 billion, thus the $400 million the players received equals about 7% of revenue. The projected income for this just-ended women's tournament is $131 million. The $30 million allocated to the players represents over 20% of revenue.

Given these numbers, if equity means an equal percentage of what the event earns, the women are actually overpaid. Sport at this level is a business. You can't get what you don't earn. This information isn't secret. Yet in all of the articles bemoaning the pay gap, there is no mention of the numbers themselves.

We should be celebrating the victory, and it seems churlish to raise these facts. But there is no alternative when some folks insist on politicizing what should be entertainment.

Mark Lijek


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