This morning, five members of the United States Women's National Team announced that they filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination. The women's game has proved to be more successful and more lucrative than the men's game in recent years, yet the women's team is severely underfunded relative to their male counterparts. In response to the complaint, the federation released the statement above. It's not great, at times verging on "Hey, get off my case, lady!"
U.S. Soccer reiterated its commitment to, and advocacy for, the women's game and rattled off a list of examples: "This includes leading the successful campaign to introduce women's soccer to the Olympics in 1996, the inclusion of prize money for the Women's World Cup, and the establishment and support of the National Women's Soccer League." The federation is real proud of that last one, pointing out that it was able to get the NWSL off the ground "after three unsuccessful attempts by private entities."
The statement is not good, but could it have been worse? Here are a few rejected statements we found floating around:
- "Sure, things are unfair, but think where you'd be without us."
- "We already got you paid for the World Cup, you gold-digging feminazis."
- "But the men's team sometimes beats Guatemala."
- "We got you into the Olympics and 20 years later set up a youth academy. Relax, will ya?"
- "Our efforts to be advocates for women's soccer are unwavering. You cannot say that our efforts have wavered. Show us where we have wavered. We would actually love that. Love it."
- "We thought all chicks wanted commitments and engagements. Honestly, we never know what you guys are saying."
- "Look, we got your lady league up and running and now we're supporting that, too. What's next, alimony?"
- "Are we committed to continuing to elevate women's soccer at all levels? Yes. When? In the future. Try to be patient and rational about this."
- "Is this because it's... [looks at calendar] ... you know..."