When the United States Women’s National Team took the pitch last Wednesday they did so with their shirt’s inside out with the only thing showing is the four stars that represent the four World Cups they have won. The “statement” was heard loud and clear by the fan base who has rallied around the players. The reason USWNT needed to make a statement prior to their match with Japan was a disgusting one. In a court filing, U.S. Soccer claimed that the woman lacked the “skill” of the male players.
The long-time battle of fighting for equal pay had come to a boiling point with a May court date looming. Following the court filing fans, players, former players, executives, and sponsors bludgeoned former U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro for the sexist and demining stereotypes in which their gender discrimination defense case was built on. Cordeiro facing immense pressure stepped aside on Thursday night breaking way for former USWNT Starlet Cindy Cone to take over.
Cone who had previously served as a Vice President in the organization released a statement on Monday night in an effort to start the rebuild process in what is now a broken relationship.
“Last week’s legal filing was an error. It resulted from a fundamental breakdown in our internal process that led to offensive assertions made by the Federation that do not represent our core values,” new U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “It is our obligation to move quickly to repair the damage that has been done,” added Parlow Cone, a member of the U.S. team that won the 1999 World Cup. “I am committed to addressing this issue in an honest, transparent and forthright manner.”
Cone now has the tough task of rebuilding a relationship with the players, fans, and sponsors. The fact is while Cordeiro was in-charge when the filing was made Cone herself was a VP at U.S. Soccer. How a tone-deaf inexcusable filing like the one the federation filed occurs is beyond comprehension.
“We are going to do a comprehensive review of our internal process to better understand how this breakdown occurred and how it can be avoided in the future. I expect that review to be completed shortly,” Parlow Cone said.
U.S. Soccer Still Fighting….
Not only did Cone issue a statement but the defense that argued women are inferior to men has been eliminated in the new documents that were filed on Monday. But let’s be clear, U.S. Soccer is still defending a position in the matter of equal pay. Their new defense argues that both teams are indeed separate, but because they have different coaches, budgets, etc..
“These are times for unity, not division, “said USWNT Players Spokesperson Molly Levinson on Monday night. “USSF should stop trying to change the conversation and just change. Pay women players equally.”
The best path forward for both parties is to settle, especially for the federation which has bridges to mend and taking their most popular product to court will do more harm than good.