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Recent Gains In Women's Professional Sports May Be Lost to Virus

时间:2020-05-02 23:50来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


Linked to the rising call for equality worldwide, women's sports had been gaining much attention before the new coronavirus appeared.

The women's World Cup in France fueled Americans' interest in soccer, or as the sport is more commonly known, football. As the United States won the championship series at a sports center in France, the crowd cheered and began to shout out "Equal Pay!" over and over again. The U.S. women's team accuses the U.S. Soccer Federation1 of sex discrimination in pay. The team has taken legal action against the governing body of the sport in the U.S.

The professional National Women's Soccer League is home to many of the U.S. team's players. Before the virus began spreading, the league was expecting to open its eighth season with a new television contract.

In addition, women's professional softball was looking toward softball's return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008. Pro2 volleyball, especially popular in Europe, Russia and Brazil, similarly receives a lot of public attention in an Olympic year.

However, the spread of the coronavirus to almost every country appears to have put a stop to women's progress in the sports world. Now the question is whether players will lose the gains they had made when life returns to normal.

Cheri Kempf heads the National Pro Fastpitch softball league. She says the men's side of the sports industry will not suffer as much as the women's because it has more money and power to start. The men can sail through the coronavirus health crisis3, she suggested.

The losses for women athletes are already taking place. Recently in Colombia, the Independiente Santa Fe soccer team announced it would suspend all player contracts for its women's team. The male players, it added, would only face pay cuts.

The effects of the disease COVID-19 on the U.S. economy could look like those that resulted from the 2008 recession4. Back then, the Houston Comets of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) was seeking a new owner but could not find a buyer. The WNBA also cut back on the number of teams.

Whirlpool, the maker5 of many household products, withdrew plans to support Women's Professional Soccer, which was launched in 2009 and lasted just three seasons.

The WNBA is in better shape today than many women's sports because of its ties with the National Basketball Association. The WNBA has postponed6 the start of its season, set for May 15, but Commissioner7 Cathy Engelbert recently suggested it might be able to return sooner rather than later.

But there are concerns among those who are not so well-positioned.

Kelsey Robinson plays for the U.S. women's volleyball team that was set to compete at the Olympics this summer. Now the Tokyo summer games will begin in July of 2021. Robinson usually can get paid by playing overseas, like many national team players. But those games have been suspended. She says she worries about earning money by playing volleyball.

"It's hard to say what will happen in Turkey or China, where there are pretty strong economies for sport. But for sure, Italy I know will have to decrease salaries, maybe not at the top team, but I'm sure it'll affect lower teams...," Robinson said. "We're not finishing the season right now or playing, so that's a hard financial burden...." And, she said, decisions about pay levels next year can greatly depend on how the team finishes the current season.

Yael Averbuch West is executive8 director of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Players Association. She says players' fears about losses are reasonable.

"I think that everybody is afraid of that. And especially right now, looking at women's soccer and coming off of what we feel is a huge positive momentum9 after the World Cup...," she said.

The international soccer players' union, FIFPro, warns of the effect the coronavirus could have on women's soccer worldwide.

"Who knows what the future will bring?" said Jodie Taylor. She plays for the NWSL's Reign10 and England's national team and serves on the FIFPro player council. She said the reality of the future is worrisome, adding "and one that the world's kind of sitting back and waiting for."

Players in individual sports could be hit hardest. Tennis, golf and track athletes are largely dependent on competing to earn money.

The Women's Tennis Association has announced plans to begin play on July 13. Wimbledon, the sport's most famous championship event, has been canceled this year.

Words in This Story

league -n. a group of sports teams that play against each other

athlete -n. a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength

salary -n. an amount of money that an employee is paid each year

burden -n. someone or something that is very difficult to accept, do, or deal with

positive -adj. good or useful

momentum -n. the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes


1 federation htCzMS     
  • It is a federation of 10 regional unions.它是由十个地方工会结合成的联合会。
  • Mr.Putin was inaugurated as the President of the Russian Federation.普京正式就任俄罗斯联邦总统。
2 pro tk3zvX     
  • The two debating teams argued the question pro and con.辩论的两组从赞成与反对两方面辩这一问题。
  • Are you pro or con nuclear disarmament?你是赞成还是反对核裁军?
3 crisis pzJxT     
  • He had proved that he could be relied on in a crisis.他已表明,在紧要关头他是可以信赖的。
  • The topic today centers about the crisis in the Middle East.今天课题的中心是中东危机。
4 recession GAozC     
  • Manufacturing fell sharply under the impact of the recession.受到经济萧条的影响,制造业急剧衰退。
  • A rise in interest rates plunged Britain deeper into recession.利率的提高导致英国经济更加萧条。
5 maker DALxN     
  • He is a trouble maker,You must be distant with him.他是个捣蛋鬼,你不要跟他在一起。
  • A cabinet maker must be a master craftsman.家具木工必须是技艺高超的手艺人。
6 postponed 9dc016075e0da542aaa70e9f01bf4ab1     
vt.& vi.延期,缓办,(使)延迟vt.把…放在次要地位;[语]把…放在后面(或句尾)vi.(疟疾等)延缓发作(或复发)
  • The trial was postponed indefinitely. 审讯无限期延迟。
  • The game has already been postponed three times. 这场比赛已经三度延期了。
7 commissioner gq3zX     
  • The commissioner has issued a warrant for her arrest.专员发出了对她的逮捕令。
  • He was tapped for police commissioner.他被任命为警务处长。
8 executive Ymlxs     
  • A good executive usually gets on well with people.一个好的高级管理人员通常与人们相处得很好。
  • He is a man of great executive ability.他是个具有极高管理能力的人。
9 momentum DjZy8     
  • We exploit the energy and momentum conservation laws in this way.我们就是这样利用能量和动量守恒定律的。
  • The law of momentum conservation could supplant Newton's third law.动量守恒定律可以取代牛顿第三定律。
10 reign pBbzx     
  • The reign of Queen Elizabeth lapped over into the seventeenth century.伊丽莎白王朝延至17世纪。
  • The reign of Zhu Yuanzhang lasted about 31 years.朱元璋统治了大约三十一年。
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