While the coronavirus is an unprecedented barrier to sports everywhere, sadly, sports sexism isn’t new. However, US soccer hit a low in new filings in the ongoing equal-pay lawsuit. Considering how the USWNT hasn’t lost a match in 14 months, won the last two World Cups, and just triumphed in the SheBelieves Cup, it’s only fair the women get paid a bit more. Wait, wait: the women receive less pay than the men? The latest blunder from the US governing body reinvigorated the push for equality but unfortunately proves there are still too many defenders in front of the goal.
Red Card Language
In court filings for summary judgment (a quick dismissal of a case), US soccer argued the USWNT has fewer responsibilities, and the men face more demanding working conditions. Of course, because carrying the banner for equality while winning World Cups requires so much less work. Also, the women have it so much more comfortable going up against less crowd noise. Not crowd noise! How ever will the men get by? The ladies disagreed with these curious arguments.
— Ralien Bekkers (@RalienBekkers) March 12, 2020
Never not supporting the players 🙏. Thank you Outlaws!! 💪🏼 https://t.co/XCMYdV5Bzm
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 10, 2020
The facts are straightforward. The Equal Pay Act requires that: “men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal.” A shot into a wide-open goal. Yes, there are some confusing legal difficulties with collective bargaining. However, that argument misses the point.
Instead of exploiting silly loopholes, why not attempt to fulfill the spirit of the law? The misstep was so embarrassing US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned. Also, the filing added pressure on the governing body to settle before a May 5th trial starts. The US Soccer flop aided, rather than hindered, the fight for equality. However, the women have another problem, along with their improving opponents. The rather odd paternalistic attitude towards women’s soccer refused to abate for decades and won’t anytime soon. The bad actors working against equal rights for some reason won’t give up. Especially critical, then, for the women and their fighting fans not to relent either.