The U.S. women’s soccer team has been demanding “equal pay” for years. Earlier this week, the U.S. Soccer Federation offered the men’s and women’s teams identical (as in equal) contracts. The women’s team, fresh off an underwhelming bronze medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics, celebrated its long-awaited victory over the patriarchy.
Well, not exactly.
The union representing the women’s national team blasted the soccer federation’s equal pay offer as a “PR stunt” that was neither “fair” nor made in “good faith.” Star forward Alex Morgan said Wednesday that the female players “still need to chat” about the equal pay offer, and suggested that equality wasn’t the team’s primary goal after all.
“We need to look line by line at what they’re actually providing, because if you have equal but it’s not even what we got before, or to the value that we are, then we still consider that to be not good enough,” Morgan said.
In response, the U.S. Soccer Federation reiterated that its offer of “identical contracts to the USWNT and USMNT, and to discuss equalizing prize money, is real, authentic and in good faith. A publicity stunt is a 90-minute one-sided movie.”
The latter sentence appears to be a reference to LFG, the recently released HBO Max documentary (produced by CNN Films) about the women’s team’s struggle for equal pay. The Wall Street Journal described LFG as a “good-looking” but “very politicized” film full of “outrageously one-sided arguments.”
Months before former president Donald Trump led the women’s team to a fourth consecutive World Cup victory in 2019, the female players sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination and a host of other grievances. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, which sought $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act.
The women’s soccer team and other American athletes have suffered a noticeable decline in performance since the “election” of President Joe Biden. Despite being the overwhelming favorites to win it all in Tokyo, the women’s team was humiliated in a 3-0 loss to Sweden before being knocked out of gold medal contention by Canada.
Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s soccer team defeated Mexico to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup, further undermining the spurious argument for “equal pay.”