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Rapinoe rips ‘misogyny, sexism’ in US women’s equal pay fight

New York (AFP) – US women’s star Megan Rapinoe and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber ripped US Soccer for language in a court filing opposing equal pay for the US women’s national team.

The US Soccer Federation made the gender claims in papers filed this week in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the US Women’s National Team against USSF in March of 2019.

The latest heated dispute in the US women fight for equal pay — $66 million in back pay under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act — came when the USSF argued hostile environments faced by the men’s team are “unmatched by anything the Women’s National Team must face.”

The federation also argued that “The job of (a men’s national team) player (competing against senior men’s national teams) requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of (women’s national team) player (competing against senior women’s national teams).”

US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro issued an apology for the “offense and pain caused” by the court document language on Wednesday, hours after being ripped by major sponsor Coca-Cola.

“We are extremely disappointed with the unacceptable and offensive comments made by US Soccer,” the Coca-Cola Company said.

The latest responses to the filing ranged from anger and shock from Garber to disappointment in the case of Rapinoe.

“We have sort of felt that those are some of the undercurrent feelings that they’ve had for a long time,” Rapinoe told ESPN after a 3-1 victory Wednesday over Japan.

“But to see that as the argument, as blatant misogyny and sexism as the argument against us, is really disappointing.”

Garber found it astonishing.

“When I saw the media reports of US Soccer’s recent filing, I was shocked and angry,” he said Thursday.

“I expressed to (Cordeiro) in no uncertain terms how unacceptable and offensive I found the statements in that filing to be.

“Those statements do not reflect my personal view, nor do they reflect the views of the Major League Soccer… I intend to immediately address this issue with the US Soccer board of directors.”

Rocco Commisso, chairman of the minor-league New York Cosmos, condemned what he called “shocking and offensive comments” by USSF and said Cardeiro should step down.

“The federation’s view that the women’s game is inherently inferior to the men’s is, in my opinion, clear evidence that the years of discrimination against women is not due simply to financial conflicts of interest but also to a deep underlying prejudice against women players,” Commisso said.

“For the good of the game, Carlos Cordeiro and every member of the US Soccer Board should immediately step down.”

Both sides in the court fight have requested a summary judgment seeking a ruling in their favor before the May 5 trial date.

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  1. Barry

    March 13, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Some of the arguments made by the USSF are weak and embarrassing and certainly have a misogynistic tone. That’s not going to help their case in court.

    On the other hand the women are being paid exactly what is in the collective bargaining agreement they negotiated with the USSF. As I understand their complaint they are not disputing that.

  2. Greg C

    March 13, 2020 at 9:37 am

    There isn’t a case for anything other than equal pay at international level. Anyone siding with the USSF here needs to give their head a wobble. It’s a bit like sending Phelps away to the Olympics on private flights and first class hotels while Biles is stuck in a motel. Club football on the other hand… The market dictates and for now, the women’s leagues just aren’t there yet. Good luck to them though

  3. Robert

    March 13, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Yes pay should be based on quality of play. The women have been in four world cups played in front of 100 of thousands and seen on TV by millions. The USMNT cannot even come close to those figures and have not been in any world cups recently!

    • Jasinho

      March 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      Come on really, who in their right mind can compare the womens WC to the Men’s WC.

      The womens WC, if I do watch it, its just for the eye candy even though the quality of play is dreadful at best. Whereas the Mens WC is pretty much 90% of the who’s who in the sport. How else can one explain Bein Sports getting the Womens UEFA champions league?

      • Robert

        March 13, 2020 at 12:29 pm

        Where was the USMNT?

      • Monte Reed

        March 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm

        Correct me if I’m wrong, beIN only has PSG women’s team to include matches in the champions league. They do not have the rest of the women’s champions league.

        And to compare,
        2018 men’s world cup: 64 matches, average attendance 47,371 and generated around 6.1 Billion dollars for FIFA
        2019 women’s world cup: 52 matches, average attendance 21,756 and generated around 131 Million dollars for FIFA

        US Men: 26 MLS teams, 35 USL Championship teams, 12 USL League One teams
        US Women: 9 NWSL teams

        Now down in Mexico, Liga MX Femenil has 19 teams. and a lot of the games televised on TUDN here in the US.

        • Robert

          March 13, 2020 at 4:17 pm

          The USMNT was not at the 2018 World’s Cup. Money generated by the women’s world cup did come to U.S. Soccer.

          • Robert

            March 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm

            Just checked the USWNT generated more revenue between 2016-2018 then did the UNMNT (from the BBC).

  4. jts40361

    March 12, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    So I believe I am correct in saying that men’s sports typically draw a bigger audience than women’s sports. It follows that a larger audience means that they can charge more for advertising, TV rights etc . So wouldn’t it seem unfair to pay women more for something that I could argue they didn’t earn as much as the guys? Speaking of unfair, I believe I am also correct that at Wimbledon, men and women who capture the singles titles get the same prize money. How is that fair, men have to win the best of 5 sets and the ladies only play the best of 3 sets. No problem what equal money but make the women play the same number of sets for the same money.

    • Kristopher Klassen

      March 12, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Good points

    • Monte Reed

      March 12, 2020 at 9:30 pm

      if she is good enough, let her play on the men’s team.

      • Azer

        March 12, 2020 at 10:39 pm

        Megan Rapino & her teammates play professional football, the men’s team does not. The ladies can teach/coach the men on the USMNT how to play the game. I look forward to watch the USWNT play, the men not so much.

  5. John G.

    March 12, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Rapinoe is a virulent misandrist. She and her peer “wimmin” (their word) portray their desire for a man-free world with all the rewards of an integrated world as just, ignoring their own bigotry and hypocrisy. For example, do you think they would be in favor of equal pay for male models and men in other professions where women are paid more? Not on your life. Equality for them is the same kind Orwell wrote about in “Animal Farm”… the animals who were “more equal than others”.

  6. Kristopher Klassen

    March 12, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I love how the USSF president apologized for his comments but only after after getting backlash and criticism. Its like throwing something out there and if it passes public opinion then I stand by it.

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