What They're Saying: Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy

“We could take 30 or 50 or 82 seconds out of the 100 hours or so we’ll spend during the months of sitting here doing nothing, and pass a resolution that calls for the equal treatment of male and female athletes. If we cannot even pass a non-binding resolution, how can we ever achieve real pay equity for women?”

-- Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont), sponsor of a resolution that called for FIFA to pay women the same as men at its World Cups. Senate Republicans blocked the resolution. Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander said the Senate had more pressing business than "offering opinions and resolutions about a private international entity and how they should award prizes.” (MSNBC)
6 comments about "What They're Saying: Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy".
  1. David Mont, October 31, 2015 at 8:51 a.m.

    Wow! Unbelievably stupid, even for a democrat.

  2. aaron dutch, November 1, 2015 at 4:44 p.m.

    why is this stupid? Women shouldnt be paid 35x less in the world cup then men. They should be paid to the same % of revenue as men.

  3. David Mont replied, November 1, 2015 at 7:55 p.m.

    Men's world cup is the largest event in the world (bigger than the Olympics). It generates billions in revenues. Its TV audience is in billions. Women's world cup, frankly, no one outside the politically correct USA cares about. When women's WC generates the same money and the same TV audiences as men's does, then women should be paid the same. Moreover, Leahy is not taking about women getting paid the same percentage of revenue. He's talking about absolute numbers. But besides all that, what business does the US Congress have of telling an international, non-governmental, in no way affiliated with the US, sporting organization what it should be doing?? Why not adopt a resolution that all women softball players should be paid the same as the MLB players? Or better yet, that any athlete in any professional sport should be paid exactly the same money.

  4. aaron dutch, November 2, 2015 at 6:05 p.m.

    Its not a debate that mens world cup is the largest sporting event in the world. Its $3b in rev & $600m in player payouts is about 5 to 1 ratio. Womens world cup is not cared about just in the "politically correct" USA as you said but in Europe (germany, england, france, holland, norway, sweden, denmark) all had strong tv ratings. also in Canada, Mexico the ratings were strong. Even Columbia, Aussie's had great tv ratings. So thats over 10-15 countries that had 10% + ratings. Next world cup will be in France and will grow in europe by 25-50% TV ratings.Women are getting 13 to 1 ratio of rev to pay. with grown rates in each world cup cycle 25+% they should be getting 2x at least and if FIFA had a more pro womens leadership the game could grow 5x easy.
    I think anyone who wants to improve sport anywhere in the world would want fair relative pay for the good development of the sport.

  5. Tyler Wells, November 3, 2015 at 8:24 a.m.

    I did not get from Senator Leahy’s comments and the brief column above that he wanted the women to receive proportionate pay to men, as a factor of revenues. I understood it to mean that he wanted them to have absolute equal pay. Let’s say I’m wrong and that Aaron Dutch is right and that it is proportionate pay that he is looking for. This is still an absurdly stupid resolution and magnificent waste of US taxpayers time and money.
    Let’s say that Aaron and I are both entertainers and we travel the world entertaining to make a living. Let’s say that Aaron is much more popular than I am and makes 100 times as much money. Now let’s say that Aaron and I are both programmed to perform at the same event. Let’s say Aaron will get paid 20 times as much as I do to perform; much less than the usual difference but still quite a bit more.
    Now, let’s say that the congress of the nation of Timbuktu decides to pass a resolution decrying the difference in pay. It’s not fair! Equal pay for equal work! This is stupid in so many ways
    Aaron has a much higher opportunity cost than I do to be there. He’s already rich and could pursue more lucrative contracts or maybe just use the downtime to be with his young family.
    Let’s say that there is a possibility for injury. While the possibility is the same for both Aaron and I, the economic casualty of an injury to Aaron, that would make him unable to perform, is much higher than it is for me.
    Both Aaron and I negotiate our contracts to perform independently; why would the government of Timbuktu think that it can represent me better than I can represent myself? Does it think that I am weak or stupid?
    Finally, why would the government of Timbuktu even be involved in this issue? Doesn’t Timbuktu have problems to resolve without looking around for issues that it has no influence in? Wouldn’t it be better off pushing for pay equality in domestic sports, say between the NFL and powder puff semi-naked football?
    To close, this resolution makes Senator Leahy seem incredibly economically ignorant. It is also noteworthy that he must not have many fans of the World Cup in his constituency.

  6. aaron dutch, November 3, 2015 at 11:08 p.m.

    FIFA is the international organization that has never had a pro women's football position, they have non-profit status and the US supports the model. Why wouldnt we want proportionate pay as a basic formula to drive the development of the game. FIFA sets the % of pay and all the development goals. Women have never been part of the governance model. The womens game can grow at least 10x in the next 20 years.How is this bad for football?

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