U.S. Women's National Team legend Mia Hamm spoke to Yahoo Sports about the importance of equal pay across men's and women's soccer and why it is such a pivotal thing to pursue, but may not be enough to achieve true equality across the sport. Mia joined Yahoo Sports on behalf of TIAA to promote the importance of gender equality in retirement. Learn more about how TIAA is working to encourage pay equality in sport by visiting www.retireinequality.com.
MIA HAMM: really important and what I've seen with the women-- with the Women's National Team is that there's this sense of they deserve it. It's not just like, hey, it's a good thing to do. It's the right thing to do because they've earned it and they deserve it.
And I think you'll see the ripple effects of this outside the game of soccer. You see a lot of national teams stepping forward, a lot of governing bodies saying they want to pay their women-- men and women's national team players the same. I think you'll see it in the boardroom where women step forward and you want to know what their male counterparts are making.
I would like to see, along with equal pay, equal investment because that's really how we change the game is making sure that the opportunities and facilities, education, coaching, refereeing is the same investment across the board. But making sure that we just don't lump a certain amount of money for a general idea. We need to be more targeted and specific.
I know FIFA wants to do it. And I know, logistically, it's not always as easy. But it's important part of the growth of our game. And you've seen the small investment in the women's game make such huge strides. And so imagine if we kind of cast a wider net and put our dollars more targeted places, how much more we can impact the women's game.
There's something special about an entire stadium cheering you on, but no one is watching your retirement. No one is cheering. And, ultimately, women end up with 30% less in retirement. Being part of this campaign obviously connected with the women's equal pay. It was to get us to talk about it. It's not just equal pay, but how does that impact our retirement?
And you need to help educate. And you can't start educating unless you're willing to talk about it. So to join this group, like, with Abby, and Mall Pugh, and Freya, and Jill has been an honor for me. But it's something I know for a lot of these players, when you're in it, you feel invincible. You're like, oh, my career is never going to end. And then, all of a sudden, it does. So to prepare yourself and be more proactive in that, and just getting us to discuss the importance of it.