While the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is in the midst of a wage gap battle, one female athlete has just signed a history-making contract that may just be the beginning of a change in the industry.
According to The Huffington Post, softball pitcher Monica Abbott just signed to play with the National Pro Fastpitch team, the Scrap Yard Dawgs, for $1 million and a six-year contract last week. This makes her contract the highest “ever given to an active female athlete by a U.S. pro sports franchise, according to espnW.”
Her contract, however, doesn’t give the softball superstar the entirety of the contract right away. The Huffington Post reports:
“Looking at its structure, the contract is really worth a total of $120,000 with $780,000 in potential bonuses — not $1 million straight-up. Because the NPF’s salary cap is set at $150,000 split between at least 18 players, the average pro softball player earns $5,000 to $6,000.”
This means that Abbott will earn a base salary of “$20,000 per season — an amount that a few other NPF players make, according to espnW — and will earn the remaining cash in bonuses based on fan attendance (minimum of 100 fans) for games her team plays in, home or away,” according to The Huffington Post. For Abbott to reap the benefits of this bonus, all she has to do is show up to the stadium.
Abbott discussed her historic contract, saying she hope’s her deal will usher in a new era for women in sports.
“For me, that’s what I see in this deal,” she said. “I see opportunities for other athletes, for the college girls coming in [to the league], for the college freshmen, for the 12 year olds,” she said to espnW according to The Huffington Post.
“I see opportunities for them to only be a professional softball player,” she offered. “To not have to have another career, another job.”