‘Women’s soccer outside of the United States doesn’t have the same degree of respect…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Even after U.S. Soccer offered to increase the salaries of its female players, U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe said she and her teammates would not accept the number until they receive “an actual offer for equal pay, and some considerable damages as well.”
Rapinoe, who was named Sports Illustrated’s sportsperson of the year in 2019, said the women’s team will move forward with its lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, which is set to go to trial in May, unless the federation agrees to pay even more.
“We’re trying to prepare for the Olympics and win this tournament, and be as good as we can be,” Rapinoe said. “Now we have to put effort towards this. You know, pull the media team, the lawyers and everybody out on Saturday.”
Rapinoe even admitted that her effort to achieve “equality” hadn’t “really achieved what it was intended to. I don’t know,” she told CNN.
U.S. Soccer has argued that its female players actually out-earned their male counterparts last year because the women receive salaries as well as game and tournament bonuses, while the men do not “receive any guaranteed money or benefits within their pay-for-play structure,” the federation said in a statement.
The little gap that still remains is necessary because filling it “would seriously impair our ability to support our mission and invest in these other critical developmental areas,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro explained in an open letter.
Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the female soccer players, claimed Cordeiro’s explanation was “riddled with falsehoods.”
Cordeiro, however, said that the women’s real grievance is a “lack of opportunity.”
“I felt then and I still feel to a degree, that the lack of opportunity for our female players was really what was at the root of some of their issues,” Cordeiro said in January.
“The fact that the Women’s World Cup generates a fraction of revenue and a fraction of what the men get paid is a reflection, frankly, of lack of opportunity,” he continued. “… Women’s soccer outside of the United States doesn’t have the same degree of respect.”