On Sunday, June 7th, The United States women’s soccer team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 at the Women’s World Cup. This game and their month-long tournament raised more awareness and consideration towards the women’s league and the overall sport.
The tickets for opening, semifinals, and final match completely sold out within 48 hours of being available. An estimate of about 1 billion people were tuned in to watch the live stream. Making this the most popular tournament ever for Women’s Cups. The stands were filled with people wearing stripes and stars to support their team. Fans even covered the Twitter feeds including Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King, and more.
An overall incredible game was played by the US team. However, they won more than just the cup trophy. The team has drawn attention to equal pay and civil rights and, more specifically, to social and political issues from their participation within the sport.
After some backlash from President Donald Trump because of Megan Rapinoe’s verbal tirade about the team’s potential visit to the White House, that was asked by a reporter. Trump responded back with a tweet:
I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!Donald Trump
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) followed up with a personal invite to the House of Representatives for the whole team. Fellow representatives made sly remarks against Trump and his previous engagement with the Clemson Tigers and their win in the National College Championship.
“I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and fight for the same things we fight for.”Megan Rapinoe
This comment by Rapinoe is just one part of her present activism, which is striking conflict with the US Soccer Federation. Using her platform she has on the team she has been addressing many issues including equal pay amongst all, LQBQ rights, and police brutality. She believes that until we are all free, none of us are free. It has been calculated that the men’s soccer team makes more money during loses than the women do during wins. Clearly displayed is a form of gender discrimination and, because of that, 28 members of the soccer team has sued the US Soccer Federation.
Not only for soccer, but also many other sports in the world that have both male and female teams the pay gap between both genders is drastically different. It’s a major issue in today’s world and it’s something that needs to be changed.