Wednesday, June 1, 2016


On equal pay, U.S. Soccer has a chance to right FIFA's wrongs

When five players -- Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo, on behalf of the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national soccer team -- recently filed a federal complaint charging U.S. Soccer with wage discrimination, it quickly became apparent, for the 10,849th time in my life, that I should have chosen law school after college (or at least paid better attention in accounting classes).

I won't attempt to dissect the legal nuances of the players' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filing, but instead I will get to the heart of the issue, because this is clear: The women deserve more. The question is how much.

I spoke recently with both sides -- U.S. Soccer's chief financial officer Eric Gleason and spokesman Neil Buethe, and the players' legal counsel Jeffrey Kessler and Rich Nichols -- to get their perspectives. If one thing is certain in all of this, the issue is complex. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of ESPNW.

Kicking Back Comments: This is a great article from Foudy who anchored many of the reasons why the WNT is what it is today. I truly appreciated she agreed with the facts (MNT and WNT salaries have been about equal for the past 8 years or so), did not let US Soccer off the hook (why does the WNT have to win every game to make the same), and places some blame in FIFA where it in part lies. Sounds familiar huh?

While I do start getting off the bus is when she speaks about "systemic discrimination." I take her point and believe there is an argument to be made in there somewhere, but not in that way. Where she comes closest is raising the turf issue ... which I have commented on here, was a disgrace for FIFA ... as any World Cup and any national side should play on a natural surface. See my article "The case of Dr. Turf and the Cowardly Judge" for a recap.

Another area that I start to get a bit skeptical on is how the women's game is treated around the world. Not because I disagree with the premise as it is treated in an inferior way, but that it is the responsibility of US Soccer to fix that ... or while their charter, for FIFA to fix that.

Foudy agrees with the latter and less the former is seems and cites the billion dollar reserve (yes that is a B) FIFA has and may be able to do something about. I am less certain frankly.

I believe as she seems to intimate that the WNT will get more this time around and believe that US Soccer should follow suit and provide a bump ... for the time being. While I don't go so far as to say the current WNT is an anomaly, both teams should have pay based on a revenue and a results component. So for years that the WNT does great as it is now, they get rewarded for the performance, and additionally as a function of their revenue. Same for the men.

So for my money Foudy presents the most rational arguments I have seen in a while. In this season of crazy politics, she gets my vote for 2016.

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