That’s what most everyone was shouting from the bar at Matt & John’s Game Time Sports Bar this past Sunday as we watched Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and their teammates dance gleefully on the field of the FIFA women’s final.
These women put on a powerful display of feminine prowess. As the comedian Karen Kilgariff tweeted this Sunday, “Congratulations #USAwomenssoccer you’ve really opened my eyes to the benefits of cardio” shortly after also tweeting, “I just got winded carrying my bagel over to the couch #USAvsNED.” Two moods that everyone whose only idea of a marathon involves a television and Netflix.
If you don’t follow soccer, you’re in good company — at least here in America, anyways. However, all eyes were on the US Women’s National Team for several months as the women made history, in more ways than one. This year, the American team’s Women’s Cup was filled with controversy, heroism, political fights, unity, legal disputes, perseverance, discrimination, and feminism.
Leading Up To The Game
In the months preceding the game, the women’s team decided, rightfully so, that it was time for the women’s team to be treated equally to the men’s.
The Pay Gap
The women have highlighted the pay gap between their team and the men’s despite the women’s soccer team generating more revenue and winning the World Cup not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times when the men have yet to accomplish a single victory at the same level. In addition to those four accolades, they also have four Olympic titles and generated 50.8 million dollars for the federation between 2016 and 2018.
Currently, and during the time of the World Cup, the women’s team is actively suing the US Soccer Federation for paying them only 38 percent of what they pay the men. Yikes. While the math can get convoluted, and there seems to be a different story wherever you look, the factual statistics of the lawsuit are appalling. Comparing just the facts of the contracts between the male and female athletes, the payment discrimination is still shocking. If both teams played and won 20 non-tournament games, the women would earn a maximum of $4,950 per game while the men’s team would earn an average of $13,166 per game.
The women earned more salary and bonuses in 2018 than the men’s team, which seems like they should be satisfied with that. If you hear this statistic out on the street, make sure you add the additional fact that they played twice as many games and won more than the men’s team. The world, especially women, will be waiting with bated breath to see how a federal judge rules when it comes to equality in the US soccer industry.
Wondering how the fans feel? Well, the entire stadium chanting “equal pay” after the World Cup win for the United States gives us a pretty good idea.
[profanity warning] “I’m not going to the f*cking White House,” are the exact words of co-capitan Megan Rapinoe in an interview with Eight by Eight magazine. The words are forever immortalized by the internet, iconic to those who do not support the current president and offensive to those who do. The team had yet to be invited to the White House but were asked if they would go were they to be invited. Rapinoe’s comment shocked and energized both fans and non-fans worldwide.
As he’s apt to do, Trump tweeted at her in a rage claiming that the women would have to win first and they’d be missing out if they didn’t come. Here’s the thing though, he definitely tweeted his anger at the wrong Megan Rapinoe Twitter account, tagging a fan account instead of her verified Twitter.
The social media storm that brewed given her comment — she did say that she did not speak for the whole team but would be surprised if anyone went — greatly overtook any headlines of their success during the quarter finals of the tournament. Now that they’ve won, will they go? Nope! But the women’s team has accepted Alexandra Occasio-Cortez’s invitation to visit the House of Representatives!
Well, this year was a big year for the LGBTQ+ community both on the field and off. There were 40 openly gay or bisexual athletes playing in this year’s World Cup across all the teams nationwide. Six of those players who are “out” play or coach the US team. In fact, Sue Bird, Rapinoe’s girlfriend, wrote an ode to Rapinoe in the sport’s journalism piece of the century titled, [profanity warning] “So The President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend.”
The effect of seeing their country rally behind these women and celebrate them and their achievements unabashedly sends out a positive message to people everywhere. America’s “golden girl” of this year’s World Cup and arguably one of the greatest soccer players of her time, Megan Rapinoe, retweeted a photo of her, Ashlyn Harris, and Ali Krieger kissing their trophies with the caption “Science is science. Gays rule.”
They sure do! If you’d like to read more about the team’s LGBTQ+ efforts, Buzzfeed wrote an excellent article appropriately titled “Lesbians won the Women’s World Cup.”
The game itself was edge-of-your-seat exciting. Americans woke up early to watch the 95-minute game from beginning to end. We highly suggest watching a highlights reel, and falling in love with your country all over again. The women were that good, they make even the least patriotic swell with pride. While the US Women’s Team won the Cup, “Rapinoe won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player, the Golden Boot for its top scorer, and is the first woman to start three consecutive World Cup finals.” Some felt the women celebrated too much, but why shouldn’t they? Right now, they’re literally on top of the world and anyone who claims they’d handle a similar situation with more demure is lying to themselves.
While we could gush about Megan Rapinoe forever, we also feel it’s important to recognize the entire team of amazing ladies that are inspiring American girls and boys everywhere.
Way to go, ladies! You’ve taken home the gold (again!), made your country proud, inspired children worldwide, and represented women — along with members of the LGBTQ+ community — with your hearts of gold, sick dance moves, and ferocity on the field.
Are you ready to see what the United States Women’s Team has in store for next year? Come to Matt & John’s Game Time Sports Bar to enjoy great drinks, great company, and great soccer!