Entertainment

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team deserve every ounce of praise and glory. Yesterday’s incredible 2-0 win against the Netherlands, made them World Cup champions once again and brought the women a tremendous amount of support both as fantastic players and as passionate activists for women’s rights. The U.S. Women’s team has taken on a legal battle, complaining to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, against their employer the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, and they’re demanding equal pay. So what will it take? They certainly have support from their fans. If you missed yesterday’s game, here’s a short recap: after the women scored their winning goal and everyone was celebrating on the field, the crowd at the stadium in Lyon, France began to chant “equal pay” — so there’s no hiding the appalling disparity now.

There’s even more support for the women’s team as major sponsorships is putting these female athletes on a massive center stage.  

Fresh off the heels of a great championship game, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team is now the star of a new Nike ad that is resonating with feminists everywhere. 

Nike Youtube.com

The commercial is dramatically cool with its black-and-white aesthetic and features star players including Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Tobin Heath, and of course, Megan Rapinoe. A woman’s voice in the ad says, “I believe that we will be four-time champions and keep winning until we not only become the best female soccer team but the best soccer team in the world. And that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play and say things like, ‘I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up,’ and that they’ll be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves.”

The empowering commercial also touches on the women’s team’s demand for equal pay.

Nike Youtube.com

The team has made it no secret that they’re suing the U.S. soccer for gender discrimination. According to Glamour, “the women’s team made $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team did last year—while making four times less.” The U.S. Men’s team has never won a World Cup. And this fight for equal pay isn’t new. 

“I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years,” Carli Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA women’s player of the year, said in an interview on NBC’s Today show back in 2016. “Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large.” Four years later, nothing has changed. Perhaps this second-consecutive World Cup win and the new Nike commercial will help improve things for good.

The ad is aimed to inspire young girls and boys alike, as well as soccer fans new and old.

Nike Youtube.com

“I believe that we will make our voices heard, and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years,” the ad continues. “And that women will conquer more than just the soccer field by breaking every single glass ceiling and having their faces carved on Mount Rushmore; and that we’ll be fighting not just to make history, but to change it—forever.”

If naysayers need another reason to argue that the women’s soccer team doesn’t bring in as much money as the men’s (which is not true), here’s another indicator that they’re wrong:

The women’s Nike jersey is outselling the men’s.

Nike Youtube.com

“The USA women’s home jersey is now the number one soccer jersey — men’s or women’s — ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said in the company’s earnings call, according to the Women In The World News

Fans on social media are praising Nike for their latest ad.

Perfect timing, right?

Even Snoop Dog called out the equal pay injustice the women’s team has long endured.

In a post to his Instagram page, the rapper broke down why he thought it was unfair for the women’s team to be paid less than the men’s saying “Food for thought. Shout out to the USA Women’s Soccer Team for their fourth World Cup, but what I want to talk about is that they only get $90,000 per player, but the men, if they win, they get $500,000 per player.”

It’s almost as if Nike knew the U.S. women’s team was going to win. But didn’t we all?

Perfect words for a perfect team that deserves a raise. 

If you didn’t get emotional watching that… you have no heart!

This team has done so much for the sport. 

What is there left to say but “Equal pay! Equal pay!”

The women’s team is still under litigation, but we will definitely be ready for that final ruling that says these women must get equal pay — or more, especially as returning World Cup champions. 

Nike strikes again with another powerful commercial.

Oh, it was us too. We couldn’t stop with tears. We were cheering and crying at the same time!

Here’s the entire commercial below.

Let us know what you think of the ad. 

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Just Bragged So Hard About Her Parents And It’s The Cutest Thing

Entertainment

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Just Bragged So Hard About Her Parents And It’s The Cutest Thing

@lauriehernandez / Instagram

In 2016, a group of five young athletes went to the Summer Olympics in Rio Janerio with big dreams. There, the Olympians competed to be named the best in the world in their individual and group categories. Nicknamed the “Fab Five,” the women went on to earn silver and gold medals at the international games; proving that the gymnasts were the best of the best.

That same year, Laurie Hernandez — a member of the five — also earned gold on the TV dancing show, “Dancing with the Stars.” The athlete then focused her attention on the literary world. In 2017, she published her New York Times bestselling memoir, “I Got This,” and, in 2018, released her children’s picture book, “She’s Got This.” Hernandez even has a new hosting gig on “American Ninja Warrior” to keep her busy.

It seems that with every challenge she takes on, she succeeds.

Now the gymnast has her eyes set on 2020 and her next shot at Olympic greatness.

Twitter / @LaurieHernandez

Recently, Hernandez sat down with REFINERY 29 and shared her thoughts on power. Specifically, the Olympian explained what makes her feel powerful and what she does in those occasional times when she’s left feeling a little bit powerless.

Unsurprisingly, the athlete explained that she feels most powerful when moving and active. She discussed her workouts, saying:

“Sometimes it’s just gymnastics, but sometimes it’s doing other things, too — like cycling. But just testing how my body works makes me feel most powerful.”

Hernandez went on to elaborate that — to her —  power isn’t just about physical strength. The Latina believes that power also lies in having a strong spirit and mind. She added:

“Gymnastics can be more mental than physical sometimes. So throughout training, going through different tests — whether that’s competing with a lot of people or just with yourself can build your mental strength. So, just learning how to calm myself down; I think that’s pretty powerful.”

The Olympic medalist admitted that it’s her relationship with her parents that brings her back when she’s feeling less than powerful.

Twitter / @Variety

Hernandez explained that even though she and her family are living on two separate coasts, her mom and dad are still the people she goes to when she needs a pep talk. She admitted:

“The first thing I do is reach out to my family and close friends. Sometimes I feel like they know me better than I know myself. Especially my mom and dad; they’ve been supporting me since day one. I feel like they have all the answers. Right now I’m training in California and my family is in New Jersey, so there’s a lot of FaceTime going on.”

Not only do her parents help her when she’s feeling powerless, but they are also her role models when it comes to strength.

Twitter / @OKMagazine

The Latinidad is very family-oriented so we can relate to this. Hernandez doesn’t just look to her parents to revitalize her when she feels powerless. She also considers them her examples when the athlete thinks about what power looks like. After asking if she could pick her mom and dad as her power icons in the interview, Hernandez continued:

“My icons are my parents. After having to raise three kids, they’ve gone through a lot of different struggles. My siblings and I have been able to do so much in our lives because we had a really good foundation. There’s only so much your parents can give you, and yet it feels like our parents really gave us the world.”

She went on to explain that the example that her parents provided her and her siblings early on setting them up for the rest of their lives.

“I think without that foundation and without the things they taught us when we were little, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’re so kind to other people, and that’s something that I want to follow their lead on. So, they’re my power icons.”

Hernandez ended the interview by saying that her power anthem is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Know” and it only seems too fitting because it looks like nothing can stop the Latina athlete from achieving her dreams. We will be rooting for more gold for the gymnast in her return back to competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Not One Of The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Is Latina, Here’s Why

Entertainment

Not One Of The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Is Latina, Here’s Why

@downtownlasoccerclub

On July 7, the U.S. Women’s National Team went up against the Netherlands Women’s National Team for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and USWNT took home the championship cup. During the team’s victory speech in New York, U.S. women’s soccer star and forward, Megan Rapinoe, said, “We got white girls, black girls, and everything in between.”

However, Rapinoe should have thought twice before making that statement. After all, what exactly did she mean by “everything in between” if the U.S. Women’s National Team didn’t feature a single Latina woman on its roster this year?

Rapinoe’s comments recently inspired a Los Angeles Times story about an L.A. girls soccer club trying to make the face of women’s soccer.

Columnist Bill Plaschke spoke to young soccer players from the Downtown Los Angeles Soccer Club, whose team is mostly made up of Latina athletes “facing economic and cultural battles that have long kept them on the soccer sidelines.” The Downtown Los Angeles Soccer Club is made up of 175 girls trying to change the face of women’s soccer that has historically been dominated by white women. 

“That’s why …. I like watching [the U.S. Women’s national team] and everything, but I still say my idol is Lionel Messi,” said 15-year-old-striker Nayelli Barahona

This critique of the U.S. Women’s National Football Team is not new. When they also held the title for world champions in 2017, NPR’s Latino USA published an article “Why Is Women’s Soccer so White?” 

Audio producer and journalist Michael Simon Johnson writes, “The United States women’s national soccer team is far from a beacon of diversity, especially when compared to their male counterparts. With few women of color––and no Latinas––the team is extremely white, in spite of soccer’s entrenched place in Latin American culture.” 

However, the issue isn’t that young girls of color aren’t interested in playing the sport. 

But rather, as NPR notes, “youth soccer’s play-to-play system favors not necessarily the most talented children, but the children of parents who can afford elite clubs’ steep fees.” Club soccer fees run from $2,000 to $5,000 annually, per the Los Angeles Times.

That’s where Downtown Los Angeles Soccer Club comes in. Their club president Mick Muhlfriedel helps run the all-volunteer operation out of a middle school field in Pico-Union. According to Mulhfriedel, “some of the girls contribute $25 a month. Most pay nothing.” 

Since the 1991 World Cup, there have been 12 women of color on the U.S. World Cup or Olympic teams.

According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, 14-year-old girls drop out sports at twice the rate of boys. 

“Add in the lack of diverse role models and access, transportation issues and the cost, the number of obstacles facing girls of color in the game of soccer becomes poignantly evident. Although progress has been slow, there has been progress. It would be remiss to not acknowledge some of the black players who are trailblazing on the field,” writes Stephanie Taylor of Girls Soccer Network.

In September 2018, Hope Solo also penned an opinion piece that focused on what’s wrong when the U.S. women’s soccer teams are dominated by “white girls next door.”

She writes that race was something most people on the teams she played didn’t want to discuss or even acknowledge. 

“Over most of my 20-year career, I hadn’t realized how uncomfortable some teammates were around certain coaches or officials. Most players wanted to represent the US, to be at the Olympics or the World Cup, and they’re proud to be on the team. So they kept quiet. But those conversations with teammates who felt things were off, means race is an issue we need to discuss a whole lot more,” Solo writes. “The numbers are very clear. We need more men and women of color to represent US national teams. So few players of color representing the USWNT means there are great athletes across the country we are ignoring.” 

The Los Angeles Times also cites that according to NCAA reports from 2017-2018, only 8% of female soccer players were Latino women. This is why it’s so important to not only advocate for young Latina athletes but also help mobilize the conversations further surrounding not only gender parity’s in professional sports but also race. 

In the last two years, the Downtown Los Angeles Soccer Club has won three of their eight major tournaments and made it to the finals three other times. This fall, the Los Angeles Times writes that they’ll compete in the prestigious Premier division of the Coast Soccer League and compete in the California Regional League. 

The young Latina soccer players from the Down Los Angeles Soccer Club seem to be resilient soccer players passionate and determined.

More importantly, they seem resolute in their efforts to change the face of future World Cup and soccer matches that take place on a national stage.

Here’s to hoping we see some of these young talented players giving that victory speech or holding the cup in the future. 

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