March Madness has no fans. The NBA season is suspended. We are suffering from a pandemic
the Women’s National Soccer Team endures hateful, discriminatory comments from the U.S. Soccer Federation.
I might be dramatic, but 2020 should be officially cancelled. Our country, our world and our community has endured a lot of pain and suffering. And it is only March.
Side note: While I have been ranting, reeling and worrying over the past couple of days about the state of our school, my family, our community and even the world, one thing has been glaring as a beacon in my mind: we do not have control over anything.
I have read the verses.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Matthew 6:34 says.
Yes, I realize I cannot worry about what will happen, but I can plan. I planned to go to the Thunder game last night. I planned to keep working my job at the Oklahoma City Blue, and I planned to walk across the stage at graduation in April. Then the coronavirus hit, and I realized we cannot truly plan for anything. We can prepare, but ultimately all we can do is rely on Christ and trust him, because tomorrow could bring untold positives or unbearable negatives.
All right, I am done preaching. Back to the U.S. Women’s National Team.
A year ago Sunday, the women’s national team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The 28 women players who signed as plaintiffs say the U.S. Soccer Federation “has caused, contributed to, and perpetuated gender-based pay disparities against the players in nearly every aspect of their employment,” which is written in the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, the women are suing U.S. Soccer and seeking a $67 million settlement. The battle over the lawsuit has been ongoing since March 2019; however, the real sparks flew yesterday when the Federation commented on why the women are currently being paid less than men.
Here are the comments made by U.S. Soccer:
“It is undisputed that the job of a [Men’s National Team] player requires materially more strength and speed than the job of a [Women’s National Team] player. The job of the Men’s National Team players carries more responsibility than the job of a Women’s National Team player.”
You. Are. Kidding. Me.
I am a woman.
I have played soccer, high school and collegiate.
It is tough—mentally, physically and responsibly.
Are men and women different biologically? Yes—this is a scientifically proven fact. Does this make their jobs more difficult or of lesser responsibility? Absolutely not.
Let us just compare the magnitude of World Cup Results.
The best World Cup result for the men was a third-place finish in 1930, 90 years ago. Since then, they missed the finals until 1990. From 1990 to 2014, the men have participated in every World Cup. Most recently, in 2018, the men failed to qualify and did not play in the World Cup.
Compare a third-place finish to the women’s results. Since the start of the Women’s World Cup in 1991, the U.S. women’s team has won four World Cup titles, including the most recent title in 2019.
Some may look at this and say, “Well, the countries are more competitive on the men’s side,” while I argue on the other hand, our team is just not as good as others.
The women have competed on the world stage and won four times—talk about speed, talk about pressure, talk about responsibility. They have had to fight for equality on multiple fronts on and off the pitch. They are more watched than the men and paid significantly less.
As a female who avidly played sports and desires to work in sports, I am appalled by the federation’s comments. You are telling me all the hours I spent working, all the time I played with a torn ligament shows no strength, because I am not a man?
What image are we sending to young females now? Sports are about community and passion, but here is a federation telling women they will never be as good as men. Do better, U.S. Soccer. Do better.
The U.S. Soccer Federation President, Carlos Cordeiro, released this statement yesterday apologizing for the comments: “The offense and pain caused by language in this week’s court filing, which did not reflect the values of our Federation or our tremendous admiration of our Women’s National Team. Our Women’s National Team players are incredibly talented and work tirelessly, as they have demonstrated time and again from their Olympic Gold medals to their World Cup titles.”
Thanks for trying to save your PR debacle with a half-hearted apology, but it does not make up for the years of discrimination.
Frankly, change means more than money. Equality means more than losing a lawsuit. The Federation needs to stop worrying about $67 million and start worrying about their players and the next generation of women soccer athletes.
We cannot control the coronavirus, and we cannot control the U.S. Soccer Federation’s treatment of people—BUT we can control our own attitudes and how we treat others.
So wash your hands and speak out for female athletes. This world needs it.
After I wrote this article yesterday, the President of the U.S. Soccer Federation resigned. Actions and statements have consequences.
Additionally, U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe released a statement, which can be found here.