On Sunday, the U.S. women’s soccer team hoisted its second consecutive and fourth overall World Cup trophy after defeating the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon, France.
This is a monumental accomplishment in world sports and should be celebrated by the country. But lately, the national media is focused less on the victory by our country women and more on the wage discrepancy between the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the Twitter battle between team captain Megan Rapinoe and president Donald Trump.
In regards to the women’s team being paid less, according to the Washington Post’s fact checker, the women’s team has held its own in generating revenue for its games but that is only once slice of the overall pie. Sponsorships and other factors need to be attributed, but what is clear is that in order for the women’s team to make as much as the men’s team they need to perform as well as they did this World Cup. While there are good arguments on both sides, what should happen is an overhaul of the collective bargaining agreement between the federation and the women’s soccer team to better align pay with the group’s success.
The second issue really is a matter of where the focus should be than the banter. Rapinoe is outspoken about gender equality, LGBTQ rights and racial justice, while Trump has found himself in such feuds with other well-known celebrities and sports stars. While neither will probably ever see eye to eye, diplomacy from both sides could have turned a nasty feud into a celebration of the team’s success and a meeting between both. The two could discuss both their cases and build dialogue.
So as Americans, we should celebrate the accomplishments of our fellow countrywomen. While both issues need to be discussed and taken head-on, Americans should not feel divided on whether to celebrate the victory or not.