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April 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Sigi Schmid says public salaries, for most part, don’t cause locker-room drama

If you missed it earlier, MLS salaries for the 2014 season were released by the players’ union Thursday. One player in particular will make $6.7 million and others won’t make $40,000, and with that in mind, coach Sigi Schmid was asked after practice if the salaries being made public can change the dynamic in the locker room.

Here was Schmid’s answer, including a great anecdote:

“I don’t know. It is what it is. … My uncle in Germany had a company where he made sweaters, and obviously the seamstresses were primarily female. He said if somebody walked in with a new dress that day, it made for a bad day. Everybody was concerned about, ‘How did she get the money to buy the new dress? Is he paying her more per piece than they’re paying me?’

“I think there is always that in any workplace. I think if you knew the salaries of all the other reporters, and you know where you are in the workplace… I was in a very competitive field before I went into coaching, which was accounting, and you knew exactly where you were ranked. I came in with 15 people, and at the end of the first year you knew whether you were No. 1 in your group or No. 15, and the salaries were obviously commensurate and the raises were commensurate with that. So it was very competitive. That’s why after two, three years, out of that original group of 15, there were only three or four of us left. Everyone said, ‘I’m moving on because there are opportunities.’

“In professional sports, it’s just a reality of what it is. It’s the way our league is, and obviously the disparity between top and bottom is much greater in our league than it is in other leagues — other professional leagues in the U.S. and overseas. I think for the most part guys know it, they look it up, but it doesn’t become an issue in the locker room.”

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