We Need To Talk About Women’s Soccer

Megan Rapinoe following the USWNTs elimination in the 2023 World Cup
Megan Rapinoe following the USWNT’s elimination in the 2023 World Cup
Photo courtesy of: The Daily Beast

This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup was proof that we have a lot farther to go before women’s sports can be considered anywhere near equal to men’s sports.

Anyone who pays attention to soccer has seen the controversy around Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales and his inappropriate behavior at the World Cup.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Rubiales was celebrating Spain’s World Cup win and grabbed player Jenni Hermoso and proceeded to kiss her.

Hermoso spoke up about how uncomfortable she felt with Rubiales’s actions.

“I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist out-of-place act without any consent on my part,”

The Spanish Football Federation then proceeded to label Hermoso as a liar even after the whole world could see her discomfort.

Rubiales eventually resigned after Spain’s Women’s National Team refused to play and “Contigo Jenni” started trending around the world.

After all of this, Hermoso was eventually left off Spain’s roster for their games against Sweden and Switzerland.

That wasn’t the only controversy around the World Cup though. 

US soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe was trashed online after she laughed after missing her penalty shot, which ultimately led to the US Women’s Team being kicked out of the World Cup. 

While her response was frustrating to fans at home, it wasn’t the first time a player has reacted inappropriately in an important game.

Lionel Messi laughed after Barcelona teammate Neymar got a yellow card in a game. 

Argentinian goalkeeper Emi Martinez famously made an inappropriate gesture with his Golden Glove trophy during the World Cup awards ceremony.

Neither one of these players got half the hate that Rapinoe did.

How can anyone say that the same woman who fought so hard to get this far in women’s soccer didn’t care about her World Cup exit?

Every time the Women’s World Cup comes around there are always those ignorant people who love to bring up their hatred for the team.

Men love to bring up the fact that they don’t think that Megan Rapinoe deserves the Medal of Freedom.

The Medal of Freedom is used to recognize civilians who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” as quoted by President Obama’s National Archive. 

Megan Rapinoe made a huge difference in women’s soccer and fought for equitable pay. 

The difference between equity and equality is very important in this scenario. 

Rapinoe, along with many other USWNT players fought to get an equal rate of pay for the game they played in.

This doesn’t mean that the men’s and women’s teams will be paid equally, they will just get an equal percentage of the money made from games. 

This change was historic and hopefully will lead the way for other countries to follow.

“[Rapinoe] helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on our soccer team or any soccer team: equal pay for women.” President Joe Biden said during the awards ceremony in 2022. 

Prince William also received hate after not attending the World Cup final, as the President of England’s Football Association.
Many people questioned the future king for not finding the time to attend this huge event.

Former English goalkeeper Pauline Cope expressed her disappointment in the royals for not attempting to attend.

“Let’s be honest, if it was the men’s World Cup, they would all be here.” The former Lioness said.

All of this goes to prove how far we have come, but we still have miles to go on the road to equality in women’s soccer. 

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