Last week U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled against the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) in a lawsuit over equal pay. The women contend that they don’t receive equal pay with that of the men players.
Many of the women on the U.S. championship team are social and political activists. One of the team’s leading members, Megan Rapinoe, really enjoys the spotlight and is known for stunts that will bring headlines, like when she refused to sing the National Anthem or when she kneels on the field in protest of social injustice. Biden must have had her in mind when he tweeted out support for the women after their loss in court.
To @USWNT: don’t give up this fight. This is not over yet.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 2, 2020
Rapinoe did an Instagram live appearance with Joe and Dr. Jill during which she all but begged to be Biden’s choice for vice-president. She was kind of joking, I think, but not really, if you know what I mean. It sounds like it is Dr. Jill who is the superfan of the women’s team, especially Rapinoe, in the Biden family – she dyed her hair purple in support of Rapinoe (who also had purple hair) and the team during the World Cup competition. So, Jill voiced her approval of Rapinoe as Joe’s choice. It was an unserious moment but shows the obnoxious pandering that takes place during a political campaign. Joe’s stuck in the basement right now due to the coronavirus pandemic so he has been trying to capture attention with video appearances and virtual town halls, mostly with disastrous results. I just don’t understand how he has managed to surround himself with such an incompetent campaign staff. He’s been in politics for over forty years and has contacts everywhere. He was on a presidential ticket, for heaven’s sake. Yet, the people around him continue to set up these events in front of a camera in his basement and the predictable continues to happen. Dr. Jill has been joining Joe for many of them, as though she is his chaperone. She joined in with Rapinoe’s Instagram appearance.
Anyway, what Joe Biden fails to grasp about the judge’s 32-page decision is that he clearly spells out that it isn’t a denial of the women’s right to equal pay, it is enforcing the terms of the women’s’ contract. They are being paid exactly what they negotiated for, which is a contract that is completely separate from the men’s contract. As Jazz’s post reads, “The men’s team worked out a deal where they would receive less guaranteed pay in exchange for larger bonuses based on performance. By contrast, the women’s team wanted more guaranteed pay upfront with less bonus money on the back end. Had they negotiated for the same deal the men arranged, they would have made considerably more money after winning the championship.”
After the women’s team won the World Cup in 2019 they used the publicity that came their way to promote their social and political agendas. That isn’t unusual these days, especially in the Age of Trump. It’s tedious to hear the constant Orange Man bad lectures from virtue-signaling celebrities and sports stars but that is where we are. If you are a soccer fan, you know that the women are very talented – they won the World Cup but the men’s team didn’t. There is no denying they should be compensated for their work and victories. But, the twist is that they are compensated exactly as they claimed they wanted to be. Their success doesn’t give them the right to suddenly make new demands outside of what was negotiated in their contract. If Joe Biden wins the election in November, cutting World Cup funding specifically over the equal pay issue wouldn’t be a wise move. His tweet about it makes him look daft.
Another part of the women’s lawsuit will go forward – it addresses allegations brought against U.S. Soccer of unfair treatment in travel, housing, and medical support by the team.
Something that has struck me during Biden’s run for the Democrat nomination is his complete lack of original or innovative ideas on just about anything. None of his initiatives or policy proposals sound new or inspiring. He has ramped up some specific pandering to special interest groups, like embracing the Green New Deal proposals to appease the Sanders wing of the party. But, he mostly sounds like a run of the mill Democrat beholden to labor unions and the usual special interests. This idea of withholding funds from men’s World Cup competition isn’t even an original one – Senator Joe Manchin beat him to it two days after the women won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Biden is not the first politician to call for equality. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., introduced a bill in the Senate last July that tied federal funding for the 2026 men’s World Cup to equal pay for the women’s team.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available to provide support for the 2026 World Cup, including support for a host city, a participating State or local agency, (CONCACAF), or (FIFA), until the date on which the United States Soccer Federation agrees to provide equitable pay to the members of the United States Women’s National Team and the United States Men’s National Team,” Manchin’s bill read in part.
Oh well. Joe and Dr. Jill got to take a stand for the women during a time when he is being held accountable (slowly) for allegedly sexually abusing Tara Reade. He was trying to change the subject. Rapinoe originally supported Elizabeth Warren but now that Joe’s the last candidate standing, she’s supporting him and possibly hitting him up for a job in the process. If nothing else, the opportunism is strong here.