I love footy, I love everything about it, I love being an American and I love our National Teams. What I don’t love, is how vastly different the treatment of the women from the men is.
Most people would never know, mostly because it’s not on their radar and they’re busy watching the NFL, but our National Teams are a bit backward from the rest of the world. Let me explain…
In, let’s say England for comparison sake, it is expected for their men to not only make it out of group stage of a World Cup, but to win the damn thing. Their women, honestly, I’m pretty sure they were shocked with how far they had gotten in last summer’s World Cup.
Here, however, we celebrate our men making it out of group stage (and quite frankly just beating Ghana for the first time in what seemed like 10 years) like we won the World Cup. With our women, it is Cup or bust.
This, this is backwards. Yet, here, instead of paying and taking care of the winners, the men consistently get better treatment, all around, then our dearly beloved Golden Gals.
Let me break this down for you, our women’s program against US Men, German Men and the Brazilian Men:
Germany (Deutschland): World Cup Champions – 4 times (most recent champions); UEFA European Champions – 3 times
Brazil: World Cup Champions – 5 times; FIFA Confederations Cup Champions – 4 times; Copa America Champions – 5 times; South American Champions – 3 times
US Men: CONCACAF Gold Cup Champions – 5 times; US Cup Champions – 3 times; Marlboro Cup Champions – 1 time
US Women: World Cup Champions – 3 times; Olympic Champions – 4 times; CONCACAF Gold Cup Champions – 7 times; Algrave Cup Champions – 10 times; CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Champions – 4 times; Four Nations Tournament Champions – 7 times; Tourni International Champions – 1 time; Chiquita Cup Champions – 1 time; Tri-Nations Tournament Champions – 1 time; Goodwill Games Champions – 1 time; Columbus Cup Champions – 1 time; Peace Queen Cup Champions – 2 times; Albena Cup Champions – 1 time; DFB Centenary Tournament Champions – 1 time; Pacific Cup Champions – 1 time; Brazil Cup Champions – 1 time; North America Cup Champions – 1 time; Canada Cup Champions – 1 time; Australia Cup Champions – 1 time.
Now, you can say that the women’s game is different from the men’s game and I would absolutely agree with you, we can differ on which aspects are different and who’s is more difficult and what-not, but what you can’t deny, what you can’t argue, is that the US Women WIN, period. Just so you know, the US Men have been in existence since 1885, the women, 1985. So 100 years before the women’s team was put together and the women are still this vastly ahead of our men, yet, with the way US Soccer and the US Soccer Federation treat these two teams, would have you believing the opposite.
I know that was a lot of soccer based information, so let’s look at this, US Soccer is suing the Women’s National Player’s Association, this is important, not just because they are suing their own players, but because they are suing the Women’s PA because the men and women have different representation. Where else do you know of in sports, under the same federation or league do players have separate Player Associations? The rest of our national teams (basketball, swimming, track and field, etc) aren’t split in such a way, the NFL isn’t divided into black v white v islander, so why is it acceptable that our Soccer National Teams have different Player’s Associations? It isn’t.
More so than this, and more important than suing over their Collective Bargaining Agreement, is the fact that US Soccer and the Federation DID NOT redact players personal emails and addresses and phone numbers in court documents. The players have also said that people have gotten on elevators with them and went to the player’s floor (which is supposed to be guarded for player safety) and had stalkers show up. This is not how you run a professional team, let alone a National Team. This is player’s safety, player’s lives, outside of soccer, that you are dealing with and doing so poorly.
Another problem, and this is very well documented on social media, by fans and players alike, the women’s bus breaks down, twice in the last 2 years. Now our women, being the amazing group they are, hitchhiked and road with fans, because we love our gals and would do anything for them, have you ever heard of this having to happen with the men? Answer, no, and you never will, because they’re bus would never break down because US Soccer won’t allow it. Great way to treat the World Champs.
This is a bigger problem than turf v grass, bigger than money, this is about people being treated equally. In a country that has set standards in many aspects of life, we fail miserably at this.
US Soccer and US Soccer Federation, this is your fault. Our women have shown time and again that they deserve to be treated equally, maybe even better than the men, if you go in true American fashion and praise the winners, but you have no desire to do so.
So I’m wondering, do we have to have another Mia Hamm stand up in the conference room, look you dead in your faces and say, “give us what we want, what we deserve, or I’m done?” Do we need to, as a fan base, force you to see that this is unacceptable? Do we need to boycott? It would kill us, it would kill the gals, but we would do it for them, because they would do it for us and always have.
I’m asking my fellow American Outlaws, my fellow lovers of all that is footy/soccer to stand with our women and let US Soccer and the Federation know that they cannot continue to treat the women like this. Make them accountable. Make them take notice.
Last little side bit, just for fun – German Men split $35 million when they won the World Cup in 2014, the US Women split $2 million. This isn’t just a US problem, but we need to start somewhere.