U.S. Soccer Won’t Close the Pay Gap for Women Because Men’s Soccer “Requires a Higher Level of Skill”

Abigail Farmer, Layout and Design Editor

Female athletes, including the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, still struggle in their fight for equal pay. The fight got especially hard when they recently had to fight against their own organization. In 2019, twenty-eight members of the world champion the United States women’s soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit that they claim has existed for years against U.S. Soccer Federation.

On February 13, 2020, the U.S. Federation argued that male players have “more responsibility” and “requires a higher level of skill. Released in March 2020, the latest update was seen as shocking. Shockingly misogynistic.  

Megan Rapinoe, one of the captains of the team, even said, “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 blatant misogyny and sexism as the argument against us, is really disappointing.”  

According to lawyers statement, “The point is that the job of MNT player (competing against senior men’s national teams) requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of WNT (competing against senior women’s national teams.”  

Unfortantely, this statement supports an age-old stereotype that men are stronger than women. Yes, there might be different skill sets amongst the two teams, but that does not make one more difficult than the other.

They are both playing soccer. 

This is precisely the issue that the U.S. Soccer team is refusing to accept. They still are set in devising excuses for why the two are so “different.” The point of a soccer game is not about the crowds. A good soccer player is able to focus on their game and not let the crowd distract them. 

Even then, it could be argued that the men’s team has a more hostile fan base because the women have been more successful in building their own.  Four-time World Cup Champions, it is no surprise that the women’s team has a strong fan base, as they should. They consistently portray themselves as strong, determined role models for all ages. Especially in a situation like this. 

Shortly after the statements were released, Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer released an apology. 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.” 

It is one thing to release an apology and another to follow through with it. 

In fact, many members of the Women’s team have sued U.S. Soccer in their failures of gender equality and with the findings of their lawyers, the team is viable to receive up to 67 million dollars in reparations. 

With time and further court hearings, one scheduled for May 1, 2020, we can only hope that U.S. Soccer does what they promised to do–making changes to their misogynistic ways.  

In the meantime, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team will continue to fight for gender equality and work to close the pay gap for good.