While the national anthem was being played before the SheBelieves Women’s Soccer tournament final between the U.S. women’s soccer team and Japan, the women on the U.S. team protested against U.S. Soccer by turning their warm-up tops inside out, hiding the U.S. Soccer crest, as a show of “solidarity.”
The USWNT has taken the field with their warm up jerseys inside out, hiding the US Soccer crest.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
Fox News noted that a court filing from the U.S. Soccer Federation described female players as less skilled than men, arguing that the claim was “indisputable science” rather than “a sexist stereotype.”
The Daily Mail reported that the filing triggered U.S. Women’s Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe to blast U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro, saying that the filing caused “irreparable” damage, adding:
Is that truly how they feel about 50 per cent of the population that they are supposed to be stewarding into the game of soccer? I think that says a lot about how they feel about us … It’s undertones and undercurrents, sometimes blatantly, that we’ve experienced before which is why we’ve filed the gender discrimination lawsuit.
But for them to go that low and take it there in this lawsuit is not just disappointing for us, but more so for what it says to every other person in the country, every kid growing up, not only girls but boys as well. You’re not lesser because you’re a girl and you’re not better because you’re a boy as well.
Fox News reported that Rapinoe asserted:
We’ve sort of felt that those are some of the undercurrent feelings that they’ve had for a long time. But to see that as the argument, as sort of blatant misogyny and sexism as the argument against us, is really disappointing. But I just want to say, it’s all false. To every girl out there, to every boy out there, who watches this team, who wants to be on this team, or just wants to live their dream out, you are not lesser just because you’re a girl.
You are not better just because you’re a boy. We are all created equal and should all have the equal opportunity to go out and pursue our dreams, and for us that means playing on the soccer field. So, everything that was in that deposition, what they said in the argument is just not true. Don’t ever believe that.
Cordeiro issued a statement saying, “On behalf of U.S. Soccer, I sincerely apologize for 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 the Women’s National Team … Our WNT players are incredibly talented and work tirelessly, as they have demonstrated time and again from their Olympic gold medals to their World Cup titles.”
Rapinoe responded dismissively, “That wasn’t for us. That was for fans, for the media, for sponsors, because that all sounded pretty similar to what we’ve heard before. You want to talk about hostility? Every negotiation we’ve had those undertones are in there that we’re lesser, every mediation that we had, every time we meet with them and obviously the reason we filed this lawsuit. So for him to put that out saying sorry, presumably to us, we don’t buy it.”
Last month, the women on the the U.S. women’s national team asked a judge to skip a trail and simply rule in their favor in their $66 million wage discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which has countered by asking the judge to dismiss the case.
Yahoo Sports reported, “The USWNT’s lawyers filed a motion for summary judgment, which means the judge would find the players had been discriminated against without the need to go to trial. As part of that, they filed a lengthy analysis determining the women were due up to $67 million in retroactive pay.”
U.S. Soccer stated, as NBC News reported:
Women’s national team players are paid differently because they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations. Their preference was a contract that provides significant additional benefits that the men’s national team does not have, including guaranteed annual salaries, medical and dental insurance, paid child-care assistance, paid pregnancy and parental leave, severance benefits, salary continuation during periods of injury, access to a retirement plan, multiple bonuses and more.