The US women’s soccer team is truly America’s team and they’re using their platform in a way few athletes have before.
This is Dakota with Tuesday’s sports notebook.
The United States cruised through the Women’s World Cup and clinched their second straight title with a 2-0 victory over Netherlands on Sunday.
The performance by the US women in the World Cup was nothing short of domination. They started off with a 13-0 victory over Thailand and only surrendered three goals throughout the tournament. At times, it looked as if the US women’s team, which featured five former Tar Heels players, was playing a completely different game than their opponents.
— UNC Women's Soccer (@ncwomenssoccer) July 7, 2019
Of course, their World Cup run did not come without controversy.
Following their 13-0 win over Thailand, many people took to social media to criticize the USA’s celebrations, especially late when the game was all but over. Alex Morgan also caught some heat for her tea drinking celebration against England.
Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, also said she would not go to the White House should the USA win the title, another bullet point in the ongoing spat between Rapinoe and President Trump.
Megan Rapinoe: "I'm not going to the f–king White House"
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 26, 2019
But the US women’s team has also used their platform in a way few organizations have before.
They played the entire World Cup while suing their own federation for alleged gender bias. The lawsuit accuses the US Soccer Federation of shortchanging them in pay and working conditions as compared to the men’s team.
From 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated approximately $50.8 million in revenue, compared with $49.9 million for men’s games. The women also receive less per game than the men and their prize money for winning the World Cup is less than the men’s.
It’s a startling comparison, especially given the stagnant state of US men’s soccer right now. Just hours after the US women’s team clinched its fourth World Cup title, the men limped and sputtered to a 1-0 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final.
This movement towards equal pay and treatment for female athletes isn’t just within the USA either. Listen to the chants that broke out within France after the USA won the title.
— Mina Park (@minapark) July 7, 2019
Featured image via Richard Heathcote/Getty Images