The US women’s football team beat the Netherlands by 2-0 and made history by winning the World Cup a record fourth time. This title came just a month after members of the 2015 women’s team sued the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination.
After the great victory fans and members began to chant “equal pay” as the women’s team demands the same salary that federation gives to the male team. The prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup is just $30 million, compared to $400 million for the 2018 Men’s World Cup.
“I feel like this team is in the midst of changing the world around us, as we live, and it’s just an incredible feeling,” US co-captain Megan Rapinoe told reporters.
“I know that my voice sometimes is louder, but, you know, in meal rooms and in conversations, everybody is in this together. We are such a proud and strong and defiant group of women.” she added.
Rapinoe, whose active move for equality made her the face and voice of the tournament, scored one goal in the final, and Rose Lavelle, the most intriguing young player at the event, scored the other. Interestingly at the same time there were other big sporting matches happening, the Copa America 2019 final, and a Mexico-U.S. showdown at the Gold Cup, but these failed to attract as many fans and viewers as the Women’s World Cup.
The women’s team played this entire World Cup while suing the US federation for alleged gender bias, dominating the whole tournament while dealing with questions about the lawsuit, feverish dissections of their celebrations and a public back-and-forth with the president of the United States along the way.
Rapinoe has already said she didn’t believe “many, if any” of the squad would accept an invitation to visit the White House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited the team to Capitol Hill, but it remains unclear if President Trump will indeed extend an invitation to the White House. On Sunday, he said: “We haven’t really thought about it,” although previously he said he would invite the women’s team, whether they won or lost.
Shireen Ahmed, a writer, public speaker, and award-winning sports activist focusing on Muslim women in sports and the intersections of racism and misogyny in sport, said: “What I love most about the win, I think, is that—the way that this U.S. women’s national team has brought forth the idea that sports are inherently political, that women’s sports are inherently political, sports for marginalized folks are inherently political. And it’s a constant and not very subtle, but very effective reminder of that. And that’s one of the biggest takeaways of the entire tournament.”
Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and African American studies at Penn State, said: “If you think about the pressure that they put on their own shoulders by going into this World Cup after filing a gender discrimination suit it is great. They did a tremendous job”.
> Dipto Paul
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