Issues & Insights

Corporate America Butts Into Women’s Soccer Suit, Shuts Out Truth-Telling

Mostly lost amid the coronavirus panic, women’s soccer has been back in the news – unaccustomedly, since no one generally pays any mind to it in the four years between World Cups.

U.S. Soccer plunged into hot water with the diversity police – especially corporate sponsors – for daring to 1) defend its women players’ equal pay lawsuit and 2) tell the truth.

It was once axiomatic in America: everyone’s entitled to a legal defense. Which involves addressing allegations based on evidence and elements of the governing law – here the Equal Pay Act, forbidding disparate compensation for work that “requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility … performed under similar working conditions.”

Accordingly, U.S. Soccer’s lawyers asserted that the men’s game requires a “higher level of skill” – more speed and strength – and “more responsibility,” competing in more tournaments with greater revenues and stronger ratings.

Cue the sponsors’ outrage. Volkswagen, Budweiser and Procter & Gamble protested. Visa demanded a meeting. Deloitte declared itself “deeply offended.” And from Coke: “unacceptable and offensive.”

Seriously? Since when is pointing out simple facts in a legal brief “unacceptable and offensive?”

Because the elevated skill and level of competition in men’s play are indeed simple – and indisputable – facts.

Put aside the proof point that the U.S. women lost to a 15-and-under boys developmental squad in 2017. After all, when the same happened in Australia, the predictable excuse was that top players were out and the women treated it as a practice.

But who won isn’t the point – it’s the rationale for the matches: “The Matildas often practice against high school-aged boys because they cannot find enough high-quality female competition to sharpen them for international competition.”

Got that? Top women pros scrimmage against still-growing adolescent males to stretch toward the mere lads’ power, speed and athleticism – and because there are just too few of them.

Close the massive, substantiated gaps between elite female and male players in size, strength, speed, endurance, jumping height and – “skill” alert – kicking velocity and accuracy? And the still exponentially greater interest in male sports globally?


How about arguing equal “working conditions?” Putting champion females on the pitch with even an also-ran male team (say, America’s men) could result in body bags. Don’t believe it?  Women and girls playing each other are more prone to wide-ranging injuries – including suffering potentially deadly concussions at triple males’ rates.

Talk about a “knockout round.”

Meanwhile, as usual, women pushing for “equality” are trying to have it not just both ways, but every which way. At least part of their supposedly “unequal” pay results from a characteristically female risk-averse approach to collective bargaining: their agreement favored a more secure base salary plus bonuses, over bonuses alone. The women also receive a bigger share of a geometrically smaller World Cup pool.

And even as women players and their Big Business champions express deep affront at suggestions of differing skills, other female athletes acknowledge that the superior innate abilities of biologically male transgender competitors are leaving them “spectators of their own sports.”

But such truth-telling is now “offensive,” “unacceptable,” and essentially, outright banned, when it stands in the way of a higher political – and now corporate – objective. Not equality, the aspiration advanced by the women’s culture-bending 1999 World Cup win, but rather entitlement.

The same flavor of entitlement that, pursuant to Title IX, has eliminated more than 400 men’s college sports teams to make room for women. That has ensured that women now comprise some 60% of college enrollment (prima facie discrimination if it were men), and nearly the same percentage of all new jobs during the Trump administration. And that explains the deafening drumbeat to force-feed underqualified and less-interested females into STEM fields at males’ expense. (See: Google’s powerful internal feminist lobby v. James Damore.)

Might the women players deserve more money based on the value of their entertainment brand? They just might. But any such breakthrough should happen at the bargaining table, not via a gun-to-the-head discrimination lawsuit based on neither facts nor law – yet backed by politically correct buttinskis in Corporate America.

Nonetheless, bowing to new realities (read: sponsor dollars), U.S. Soccer fell on its sword: after apologizing for the – there’s that word again – “offense” caused by the lawsuit and vowing “immediate changes,” president Carlos Cordeiro abruptly quit. And was replaced on an interim basis by – conveniently – the first woman president of the federation, former player Cindy Parlow Cone.

Expect a settlement soon.

The final score: Entitlement 1. Truth, Justice and the American Way? A big, fat, zero.

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


Bob Maistros

Bob Maistros, a messaging and communications strategist and crisis specialist, is of counsel with Strategic Action Public Affairs, and was chief writer for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, three U.S. Senators, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at


  • There’s a very easy way to settle this. Take the best women’s team and put them up against the best men’s team. No holds barred. Televise it. Make sure the Girl Power lawyers and fanatics have a front row seat.

    They can’t say we didn’t warn them.

    • Heaven forbid. The liberal world is still prattling on nearly 50 years later about Billie Jean King beating a 50-something-year-old marginal former tennis pro. Those are the only odds they would accept.

      • That was reputed to be a fix due to Riggs owing bookmakers so much money.As I have predicted before,women will takeover FIFA at which point the rules will be changed and the game will become a no contact sport,probably no heading either as there is still a question mark over whether heading is producing alzheimer typ[e diseases.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: