Are U.S. Soccer Blowing Their Chance With The USWNT?
The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) are still locked in a bitter dispute with the national governing body, US Soccer over equal pay & issues surrounding gender discrimination in the game.
On the 19th August, 2019, Judge R. Gary Klausner set a trial date of May 5th 2020 for their ongoing lawsuit against the USS after mediation broke down. Both sides had requested that this come later in the year so as not to interrupt domestic league involvement for the players & also their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games that summer.
But legal formalities aside, this battle is bringing out the worst in some people and the best in others. A number of high-profile men have exposed themselves as willfully sexist in the continued volley of words. Frank De Boer has become the latest to write off equal pay as ‘ridiculous’ in an interview he gave to The Guardian earlier this month.
As for the best - well - the US Men’s team released a blistering statement through their players union, the USNSTPA, last month, hammering claims by Carlos Cordeiro, the President of U.S. Soccer, that the women’s team were actually paid more than the men.
They not only used the statement to call out the unfairness in the pay disparity between the genders, they also attacked the federation for not having the first clue in how to use the money they get to grow the game in America.
The members of the United States National Soccer Team Players Association once again stand with the members of the world champion Women's National Team in their pursuit of fair compensation for their work as professional soccer players. The USMNT players were not impressed with US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro's letter made public on Monday. The Federation downplays contributions to the sport when it suits them. This is more of the same from a Federation that is constantly in disputes and litigation and focuses on increasing revenue and profits without any idea how to use that money to grow the sport. One way to increase profit unfairly is to refuse to pay national team players a fair share of the revenue they generate.
The world is changing at breakneck speed. Old ideas are dying and a newer, more equitable, order of things is rapidly being established.
But U.S. Soccer are missing a trick. Sponsors are falling over themselves to throw money at the USWNT at the moment. Proctor & Gamble through their deodorant brand Secret, donated a little over $500,000 U.S. Dollars after their historic 4th World Cup win, to wipe out the pay gap in earnings from the tournament.
Nike put out a 60 second advert stressing equality in women’s sport. And on and on and on.
Given that U.S. Soccer seem to be most concerned about making money, why on earth wouldn’t they just give themselves some good press, pay the women equally and maximise revenue potential?
Morally, they should do it anyway.
But they currently have one of the world’s brightest, most successful, sports teams and are letting it all slip through their greedy fingers.