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Atlanta United Coach Frank De Boer In Hot Water Following Comments On Gender And Pay

Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer faced backlash for his comments in an article published by The Guardian regarding equal pay for men and women in professional sports.
Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer faced backlash for his comments in an article published by The Guardian regarding equal pay for men and women in professional sports.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

“It’s ridiculous,” was Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer’s response to the question of whether he supports mandated equal pay for men and women in professional sports.

In an interview with The Guardian, the first-year MLS coach said women should be paid what they’re worth and nothing less. Speaking of female professional athletes’ salaries, he took a market approach, saying if women draw bigger audiences, they’ll get higher salaries.

But because they don’t, he said, “…why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”

Misogynist statement or statement of truth — or both?

To get a sense of how the sports world views the comments, WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress called up J.C. Bradbury, a sports economist at Kennesaw State University. And their conversation began with a discussion about how professional athletes’ salaries are determined.

Related story: Atlanta United Coach Regrets Choice Of Words In Interview About Gender Equity In Soccer