FIFA champion says she packed boxes 10 hours a day at Amazon to make ends meet while also training and raising her son
- Professional female soccer players often aren't paid enough to support themselves or their families.
- Players are sharing side jobs they worked while playing pro soccer to call for a livable wage.
- A players' association estimates 75% of members make less than $31,000.
They've worked side jobs as cleaners, receptionists, warehouse workers and babysitters - all while playing professional soccer.
In a new campaign to demand a livable wage and an end to side jobs for professional female soccer players, athletes are sharing stories on Twitter about juggling the demands of soccer with odd jobs to support themselves and their families.
Jessica McDonald, a FIFA World Cup champion in 2019, said she worked at Amazon and coached a girls' team while also raising her son and training.
"I once worked at Amazon packing boxes during 10-hour days on my feet," McDonald said in a tweet. "Head to train younger girls in the evening. Train afterwards myself. All of this while raising my son."
-Jessica McDonald (@J_Mac1422) July 23, 2021
Darian Jenkins, a professional player for Kansas City, said she cleaned toilets at a cycling studio and refereed to make money.
The National Women's Soccer League Players Association created the #NoMoreSideHustles campaign to end the need to work multiple side jobs in the sport, with its website stating "professional athletes, regardless of gender, shouldn't have to work 2, 3, 4 jobs to support themselves."
The NWSLPA estimated that 75% of their members make less than $31,000 and a third make the league's minimum salary, according to CNBC. The minimum salary in the National Women's Soccer League is $22,000 and the maximum is $52,000.
However, a NWSL spokesperson contradicted the NWSLA's estimate, saying only 4% of players earn less than $30,000 in compensation.
"NWSL player salaries and total compensation have increased every year of the league's existence, including during the pandemic," a NWSL spokesperson told Insider.
NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke told CNBC that since the NWSL is in its ninth season with strong viewership numbers and big-name sponsors, the association is in a good position to demand better wages from the league.
"And more than a fair wage, it's time to respect the dignity of work and the autonomy of women," she said.
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