Fierce

Men Are Saying It’s Not Sexist To Pay Male Soccer Players More, But Uh, Hold Our Hoops While We Beg To Differ With Big Facts

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Yesterday, the U.S. women’s soccer team played an incredible match against Thailand, in which they won 13 to 0. That game was a great way to kick off FIFA Women’s World Cup. Yet as more viewers tune in to this year’s championship, there’s one reoccurring view: men’s soccer is still better than the women’s league; therefore, they deserve a lot more money than the women.

Male leagues indeed get paid millions more than the women, and even though we’re fighting for equal pay at least one man (of course) said that men soccer players are deserving of it.

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A male writer wrote an op-ed saying that it’s not sexist to pay more to male soccer players because they bring in a larger audience, which equals to a more significant revenue overall to FIFA Men’s World Cup.

“This isn’t evidence of deeply-ingrained sexism,” he writes. “It’s a reflection of the relative commercial status of men’s and women’s soccer, and each one’s ability to draw a consistent audience. This is the core factor driving merit-based compensation in the entertainment industry. When judged on their merits, the Women’s World Cup teams don’t deserve to be paid as much as their male counterparts.”

He should know that this year more and more people are tuning in to watch women’s soccer because they play better than the U.S. male league.

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The writer admits that the U.S. women’s team wins more games than the U.S. men’s team but he points out that in 2017 the women played against teen boys and lost 5 to 2. “Yes, that’s right: Teenage boys beat the women’s top players in the world, and the result wasn’t even close,” he writes and adds. “It does illustrate that even the best women’s soccer in the world doesn’t feature the same level of speed, size, strength, and skill as men’s soccer at lower levels. That isn’t sexism, it’s nature.”

So to recap, this man thinks because men are better at soccer than women (even though they don’t win as much), they still deserve more money because (drum roll), they are generally superior.

Well, he should know, times are changing, and people demand that women soccer players deserve equal pay.

People demanding that equal pay within women’s soccer should be addressed now.

On top of practicing and playing, the women are also fighting for equal pay.

As if they weren’t doing enough already.

They work harder, how many times do we have to say it?

They do not cry over little things on the field like their male counterparts.

It all comes down to gender.

That makes all of this so unfair.

Men take note: change is happening now!

Now back to the game!

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

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

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. 

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

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One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

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U.S.-based Mexico fan group Pancho Villas’ Army has inserted a “no goalkeeper chant” clause into the group’s membership and made abstaining from shouting the anti-gay chant a condition for buying tickets for games in their section, in a bid to help put an end to the chant often heard in stadiums when the Mexico national team plays.

This could be progress towards finally ending the homophobic chant heard all too often at Mexican football games.

The group, Pancho Villa’s Army, made the announcement banning its members from yelling the chant.

Credit: @villasarmy / Twitter

In an open letter to its members, the group says: “One area where I think we can improve upon is the infamous PU%* Chant. For me and many others, it is no longer relevant to debate what the word means or doesn’t mean. Its simply a matter of respect and common courtesy. We should do our best to be good guests at all the stadiums that welcome us.”

The group notes that fans already follow several other rules. So what’s another rule if its meant to make sure everyone feels more comfortable.

The group has even added the rule into its code of conduct. In their letter they add: “Moving forward, we will adopt a  “No Pu%^ Chant” clause into our membership rules and code of conduct. While our code generally covers the chant we will specifically list it as unacceptable conduct. The same clause will be inserted into our ticket purchases pages. We already informed all PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a standing, cheering, and singing section. The same page will now inform potential PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a NO PU&% CHANT section too.”

All of this comes as the Mexican team and Mexican fans come under increased scrutiny for the homophobic slur.

Credit: @MikeMadden / Twitter

A section of El Tri fans regularly shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal-kick and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it, although it was stamped out at Russia 2018 after an educational campaign from the federation, fan groups and players, as well as the threat of Fan IDs being taken away.

But the chant was heard regularly during Mexico games in the United States this summer at the Gold Cup.

Fans that have bought tickets for Mexico’s game on Sept. 10 against Argentina in San Antonio, Texas and don’t want to adhere to the policy will receive a refund for their tickets.

The group says the decision is about being inclusive of all fans, including those from the LGBTQ community.

“It’s about people joining who wish to create an environment that feels welcoming to our LGBTQ Mexico fans,” reads the statement. “As an organization that has LGBTQ leaders and members we take this charge very seriously.”

The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with soccer fans from around the world celebrating the announcement.

Most on Twitter were thrilled that at least one group was taking the steps necessary to address the issue. They’re going directly to their members and making it a condition of membership to stop using the chant.

FIFA has warned soccer federations all over the world, including Mexico, that discriminatory chanting will activate the “three-step procedure” that could lead to the abandoning of World Cup qualifying matches if the chant is heard. The referee would first stop the match, then suspend it and eventually abandon it if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t cease. Yet at nearly every game of El Tri you’ll still hear the chant.

Many pointed out that PVA will be on the right side of history with this new rule.

Despite there being an ongoing debate among fans if the chant is meant to be homophobic or not, people are realizing that all fans should be comfortable – and, yes, that includes those from the LGBTQ community.

And as one of the first fan clubs to issue an official rule, Pancho Villa’s Army will have been seen as a leader on this issue. So bravo PVA! And thank you.

READ: Why Do Mexico’s Football Fans Keep Going Unpunished For Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Opposing Players

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