Human beings have adored sports since the beginning of time. We’ve always marveled at the spectacular shows put on by the world’s premier athletes. And all too often we put a great deal of care into the male-led sports teams. The National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association are three of the most revered sports leagues in the country. But what about the female-led sports leagues? There are plenty: Women’s National Basketball Association, National Women’s Soccer League and National Women’s Hockey League, and yet they don’t seem to get the same amount of respect and attention that male leagues do. Until now.
Recently, the US women’s national soccer team (USWNT) won the FIFA Women’s World Cup and were showered with praise from Americans and news outlets. But even through all of the goals, wins and high-profile personalities around the team, their unrelenting success isn’t what’s grabbing headlines: their philanthropy is.
Global charity, Common Goal, is known for its philanthropic efforts. The charity invites professional soccer players from around the world to donate 1% of their earnings to noble causes. With over 500 members, Common Goal is certainly making an impact. What’s more impressive is that half of the charity’s members are female, with a few USWNT members (Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan) donating their money for a good cause. When speaking with Thomas Preiss, a cofounder of Common Goal, Forbes was able to discern something very striking about approaching male athletes versus female athletes: accessibility. Preiss claims that female players are far easier to connect with since they have less agents and “gatekeepers” in the way, and that female soccer players simply seemed to identify with the charity’s goal.
And it isn’t just the USWNT that’s footing the bill (no pun intended) for charitable donations; it’s a trend that seems league-wide. In fact, the entire Canadian female soccer team is involved with Common Goal. In an interview with Megan Rapinoe, the USWNT star claims that women are more open to philanthropy, citing the similarities between gender and racial inequality. “It’s very close to home for us,” she says. And with the continued success of the Women’s World Cup, we can expect to see higher interest in female soccer players, which can lead to higher salaries.
With that in mind, this can be a major boon for philanthropies, with female soccer players being able to offer more funds in order to tackle larger social issues with even larger rewards.