U.S. Soccer is under fire following the release of statements in relation to the recent pay dispute that many saw as sexist and misogynistic
MLS commissioner Don Garber became the latest high-profle figure in American soccer to criticize Carlos Cordeiro and U.S. Soccer’s recent statement regarding the U.S. women’s national team, with several former USWNT stars calling on the federation president to resign.
A court document revealed on Monday evening has since been heavily criticized due to a number of remarks about the USWNT.
The release came as a part of the ongoing lawsuit over equal pay, with the documents saying that there is a fundamental difference in “overall soccer playing ability” between men and women, adding that that argument is not “a sexist stereotype” but instead “indisputable science”.
Following heavy criticism, Cordeiro issued an apology for the wording of that statement on Wednesday evening.
The U.S. Soccer president said the words used in that legal document “did not reflect the values of our federation or our tremendous admiration of our women’s national team” and that the federation would be bringing in another law firm to guide their legal strategy.
Shortly after, Megan Rapinoe blasted the statement as “blatant misogyny and sexism” following the USWNT’s 3-1 win over Japan in the SheBelieves Cup.
A number of U.S. Soccer sponsors, including Visa, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Deloitte, distanced themselves from the statement immediately, with Volkswagen releasing a statement on Thursday saying the company is “disgusted” with U.S. Soccer’s “unacceptable” language.
— Volkswagen USA (@VW) March 12, 2020
And Garber, who sits on U.S. Soccer’s board, issued a statement of his own criticizing Cordeiro and the federation.
“When I saw the media reports of U.S. Soccer’s recent filing, I was shocked and angry,” he said. “I expressed to the president of the federation in no uncertain terms how unacceptable and offensive I found the statements in that filing to be.
“Those statements do not reflect my personal view, nor do they reflect the views of the Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing families. I intend to immediately address this issue with the U.S. Soccer board of directors.”
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Garber is not the only high-ranking official to state their dismay, with U.S. Soccer vice-president and former USWNT midfielder Cindy Cone also expressing her anger.
“I am hurt and saddened by the brief USSF filed,” she said in a tweet. “This issue means so much to me, but more broadly to all men & women and, more importantly, to little girls & boys who are our future. I disavow the troubling statements and will continue to work to forge a better path forward.”
Former USWNT stars Abby Wambach and Michelle Akers were quick to respond to a Sports Illustrated column calling for Cordeiro’s resignation, with Wambach saying that the president should “absolutely” step down from his role.