". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to Be Honored for ‘Courage’ Despite Pro-Trans Athlete Push

July 1, 2023

As the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) assembles for the World Cup — kicking off on July 20 in New Zealand and Australia — ESPN has announced that they plan to present the team with the Arthur Ashe Award during the ESPYS ceremony, honoring them for their “courage in the equal pay fight.” The award, ESPN announced, will honor a “member or group in the sporting world who makes a difference far beyond the field of play, impacting the world in indelible ways.”

The USWNT’s impact “far beyond the field” entailed a class action lawsuit filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The 28 USWNT players who joined the lawsuit in 2019 against their governing body, accused the U.S Soccer Federation (USSF) of “institutionalized gender discrimination.” They hoped to gain equal pay with their male counterparts and better working conditions, like travel amenities, venue selection, hotel accommodations, etc.

ESPN reported that a legal filing by the USSF claimed that the women “do not perform equal work requiring equal skill [and] effort,” like the men do. It also noted that “the overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level” is heavily determined “by the level of certain physical attributes such as speed and strength.” Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the equal pay portion of the lawsuit based on USSF’s claims but allowed the working conditions portion to move forward, eventually leading to its settlement in December of 2020.

But an appeal was granted, allowing the equal pay portion of the lawsuit to continue, eventually resulting in, “a total of $24 million and the USSF committed to providing an equal rate of pay going forward for the women’s and men’s national teams ‘in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.’”

After their victory against USSF, the USWNT has a new confidence entering into the World Cup, where they’ve won twice in a row. In a press conference featuring several USWNT players, midfielder and outspoken leftist Megan Rapinoe — who spearheaded the lawsuit — expressed that this time around, she sees the quadrennial event as “a real opportunity to blow the lid off, just in terms of fanfare and media and sponsorships.”

She also noted that those who choose not to tune in will be “missing out on a massive cultural moment in so many ways.” Rapinoe not only sees the USWNT’s job as to compete on the field, but an opportunity to “constantly strive for whatever the next thing is,” whether that be “the next game, the next part of progress we can make, [or] the next thing we can fight for where we can use our platform.” In recent years, Rapinoe, along with the USWNT collective, have been using their platform to tackle the issue of transgender rights in sports.

Appearing before the House Oversight Committee for a hearing on gender inequality in 2021, Rapinoe said that she feels like the USWNT has “done everything” they can to level the playing field for gender equality.

“You want stadiums filled?” she asked. “We filled them. You want role models for your kids, for your boys and your girls, and your little trans kids? We have that.” She also told TIME that she is “100% supportive of trans inclusion” when it comes to sports.

Captain and defender for the USWNT Becky Sauerbrunn has also made her views about gender ideology very clear. In an op-ed published by the Springfield News-Leader, Sauerbrunn wrote that, “playing with or against transgender women and girls is not a threat to women’s sports.” Instead of a threat, she sees trans-identifying individuals participating in women’s sports as an opportunity for them to “develop critical life skills like communication, teamwork and leadership.” 

Even though it means that men who identify as women would be allowed to participate in their professional sport, the USWNT is determined to “Defend Trans Joy.” As Canada and the U.S prepared for the opener of SheBelieves Cup in February, both teams, “wore purple tape on one wrist to represent gender equality and on the other wrist, white tape with ‘Defend Trans Joy’ written on it.”

Since the USWNT’s push for equal pay and biological men in women’s sports, experts have begun pointing out the irony of their stance.

“Progressivism is built on the premise that feelings determine reality,” Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm told The Washington Stand. “It is obviously counterproductive to argue that women are underpaid but anyone can be a woman. In that world, the quickest way to destroy the equal pay argument is for all men to identify as women. But that would be unsatisfying to those fighting for equal pay because they intuitively understand men and women are different.”