By Sally Fahey
President Trump has popularized the country music trope:
WHO YOU GONNA’ BELIEVE? ME OR YOUR LYIN’ EYES?
Or lyin’ bank accounts in this case.
U.S. Soccer yesterday detailed its financial commitment to the World Cup-winning women’s national team program, stepping squarely into the debate about equal pay only weeks before the federation and the team are scheduled to enter mediation to try to resolve the players’ federal gender discrimination lawsuit.
U.S. Soccer’s president, Carlos Cordeiro, outlined the federation’s position in an open letter to the federation’s members in which he cited figures, produced in a federation analysis of 10 years of financial data, that he said showed the players on the women’s team had actually earned more from U.S. Soccer than their male counterparts over the past decade.
Cordeiro also highlighted tens of millions of dollars of investment by the federation in women’s soccer, noting specifically more than $18 million in direct support for the National Women’s Soccer League, the seven-year-old professional league, and millions more in spending on youth programs.
“This is a sad attempt by U.S.S.F. to quell the overwhelming tide of support the U.S.W.N.T. has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players in the gender lawsuit, said in a statement. “The U.S.S.F. has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally.”
The players’ spokeswoman contended that the federation included the players’ N.W.S.L. salaries to inflate their national team pay.
“The U.S.S.F. fact sheet is not a ‘clarification,’” Levinson’s statement said acidly. “It is a ruse.”