The newest women to join Common Goal truly embody the selflessness behind helping the less fortunate.
Joining their mission to “change the game for good,” six more women have joined Common Goal: Barcelona’s Olga Garcia, PSG’s Vero Boquete, Manchester City’s Pauline Bremer, Arsenal’s Heather O’Reilly, Crystal Palace’s Jean Sseninde, and América de Cali’s Nicole Regnier. They, along with other high-profile players such as Mats Hummels, Alex Morgan, Juan Mata, have pledged to donate a minimum of 1% of their annual wages to a fund that the organization in turn donates to football charities around the world.But what stands out about these women’s commitments to give up their pay, as opposed to the commitments from male stars and even, to a lesser extent, Alex Morgan — one of the highest-paid female players in the world — is that they have less pay to give up in the first place. As Common Goal’s Andrew Erlanger puts it: “These women only earn a fraction of their male counterparts, and yet they have all committed to giving away part of their salaries to support those less fortunate than them.”No, women’s players in Spain, Colombia, Uganda and Germany do not make even close to what their male counterparts make.Thus, the commitments by these six women are also important in the context of the larger equal pay debate, which is currently raging on the international stage and which Heather O’Reilly would be quite familiar with considering the USWNT’s arduous ‘Equal Play, Equal Pay’ campaign.Particularly, it’s flared up in Europe. Recently the Norwegian FA agreed to pay their men’s and women’s national teams the same, thanks in particular to the men generously agreeing to give up part of their own salaries (550,000 kroner) and put it towards the women’s increase — similarly to what the women of Common Goal have chosen to do.The Denmark men’s team had offered to do something similar, too, after the women’s side was caught in an equal pay dispute with their FA that led to them striking during a scheduled friendly against the Netherlands. Unfortunately, that offer was rejected, and just a month later the FA called off the women’s team’s World Cup Qualifier — much different stakes than a friendly, of course — against Sweden.The Denmark women’s team, as a reminder, reached the final of the Women’s Euros this past summer.If only whole federations could be as thoughtful towards their own players as the women joining Common Goal are towards less fortunate strangers they’ve never even met.