USWNT lost equal pay, but public opinion is not with US Soccer

In a way, the U.S. Women’s National Team Pay Equal Case Dismissed on the most important points, it matters a lot.

The shocking decision by a federal judge last week not to even let the pay inequality argument go to trial – despite controversies over inequality in travel and accommodation did proceed – was a blow to the negotiating position of women.

The case was originally due to go to trial this week, although the Coronavirus pandemic had postponed the trial date by a month. And until that was done, the women were in a strong negotiating position, apparently demanding big concessions to even come to the table. They also asked $ 67 million in salary arrears in the costume, and after the federation President Carlos Cordeiro was forced to resign on extremely sexist language in the American football legal case in the event, a large settlement seemed likely.

Vice-President Cindy Parlow Cone, a longtime women’s national team, was bred to serve one year of Cordeiro’s tenure, and a new law firm was hired. It seemed that the only game left for the governing body was to settle the matter as soon as possible.

Although the national team, which argues under class certification, has sworn to appeal the decision, the chance of a big salary now seems remote. A judge sided with US Soccer in his argument that, counted, the women’s bonuses and the guaranteed salary is equal to or higher than that of men. He also argued that their (unfounded) decision to reject a collective agreement that was the same as the men’s cannot be retroactively overturned now that buyer’s remorse has arisen.

This decision will likely cost women a great deal, with much of their legal influence puffing up with smoke and flying away rapidly.

But in another way, the decision doesn’t matter at all.

Public pressure is firmly behind the USWNT in the fight for equal pay, and it matters a lot. (Photo by Quality Sport Images / Getty Images)

There were still two courts in which this case would be tried: the real one, and the much more delicate one floating in the opinion of a distracted public.

US Soccer may have managed to get angry in the first one. But he lost in the second from the very beginning.

This notion was only emphasized when presidential candidate Joe Biden quickly threw out his support behind the USWNT. He even apparently threatened to withhold funding from the World Cup 2026, which will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada, if equal pay has not been arranged. Biden thus joined most of the Democratic candidates he defeated by supporting women.

More importantly, the fans are behind the players. The same is true of mainstream American culture, largely indifferent to the many complexities of the business – that women are full-time employees with guaranteed wages and benefits, plus small bonuses, while men are paid entirely in the form of much larger bonuses, provided they make up the team – and understand only that women earn less than men. Whether or not this is the case depends on when you start counting. In recent years, yes, women were better paid but also … quite simply better. they have has won two World Cups since USMNT’s last appearance in one. If you take a longer view, there is a gender pay gap.

But that’s a bit irrelevant, as the federation’s sponsors and political patrons it needs as an ambitious body presumably interested in hosting more major tournaments have turned against it. US Soccer also lost the compassion of its sponsors over this deeply problematic legal argument, which postulated that the men’s and women’s national teams could not do the same job since. women are physiologically inferior to men. Or something to that effect blithe.

The legal argument is important as it will determine how much money women can recover from years gone by. This matters much less in the future, as any new arrangement made between the parties is likely to make the women, fueled by all their popularity and public goodwill and ever-increasing pressure on the federation, something much closer to the winners. .

The legal battle turned decisively and unexpectedly towards the federation. But in the biggest fight for equal pay, women still have the weight advantage of an entire nation’s sympathy.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a Football Columnist at Yahoo Sports and Sports Communication Lecturer at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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