USWNT post-World Cup

67YAZ

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Both sides filed arguments last night, and the divide is deepening. If the women need more motivation to win the SheBelieves Cup, they have it now. I’d expect them to unload on USSF every time they get asked about the lawsuit now.

 

Titans Bastard

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I'd like to see more voices on the men's side speak up about this. There just aren't many former players, current players, or media figures of prominence saying anything. I have no idea whether the USSF's argument is legally viable or not, but it's a PR disaster and, more importantly, antithetical to so many of the values they are supposed to have.
 

InstaFace

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Here's what I don't understand, and maybe some labor lawyer like @Myt1 can enlighten me:

(1) The WNT and MNT are collectively-bargained. How is it, then, that they have standing to sue under the Equal Pay Act, if they're not ordinary at-will employees? Isn't that something that should be resolve-able in the collective bargaining process, since in theory the power imbalance there is much less?

(2) These are entertainers, doing entertaining things for our entertainment. Most prominent entertainers are hired on a series of deeply-negotiated 1099 contracts to do their entertainin', and their pay is determined by their drawing power to bring in revenue. Have groups of women entertainers sued along these lines before? Not just in sports but in music, dance, TV, movies, broadway, whatever? There are unions for some of these professions and I don't recall a gender-based lawsuit over "male leads are paid more than female leads" or something. Basically, I don't understand why it's necessary to get into an argument of whether the groups are doing "equal work", because I'd have thought the only real territory of argument is around market value / revenue.
 

67YAZ

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This is nothing short of amazing - USSF sponsors criticize the federation's legal position and then Cordeiro issues an apology for it.

Cordeiro issued a formal apology for U.S. Soccer’s legal strategy in the USWNT players’ gender-discrimination case on Wednesday night, but that apology rings hollow since it only came after the federation had received stinging rebukes in the Wall Street Journal and Buzzfeed News from its own sponsors, including Visa, Budweiser, Deloitte and Coca-Cola. (Sample from Coca-Cola: “We are extremely disappointed with the unacceptable and offensive comments made by U.S. Soccer.”) Those sponsors added they wanted to meet with U.S. Soccer officials immediately.
 

67YAZ

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Just came to post this. In many ways it’s unbelievable that there’s serious repercussions for a USSF official. I suppose this is progress of a sort - public and sponsor pressure leading to some accountability.
 

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MDLzera
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Sunil Gulati probably thinks he's a wimp.

This dispute aside, Cordeiro seemed like less of an old-boy-network stooge than some of the alternatives that could've been stood up. Will they call a special election to choose a new President?
 

Titans Bastard

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Cordeiro was a lightweight, IMO. He always seemed in over his head, never quite fully grasping how to communicate or how what he says would be received by fans.

Despite my tagline, I've come to realize that when it comes to influence in the USSF, the identity of the next CEO is MUCH more important than the identity of the next president. And the CEO is chosen by the board. That's where the real power lies.
 

Quintanariffic

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Cordeiro was a lightweight, IMO. He always seemed in over his head, never quite fully grasping how to communicate or how what he says would be received by fans.

Despite my tagline, I've come to realize that when it comes to influence in the USSF, the identity of the next CEO is MUCH more important than the identity of the next president. And the CEO is chosen by the board. That's where the real power lies.
True, but the President sets the tone in many ways, no? Cordeiro was clearly a player in the Flynn replacement search process.
 

Titans Bastard

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True, but the President sets the tone in many ways, no? Cordeiro was clearly a player in the Flynn replacement search process.
Yes, the President certainly plays a big role and we should care about how the person in that role performs. No doubt about that. I think that the CEO is more important for the internal workings of the organization. While the president has input into the CEO search process, ultimately that process is driven by the board.
 

Cellar-Door

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View: https://twitter.com/itsmeglinehan/status/1256352884092010497


Significant win for the Federation, summary judgement in their favor on the bulk of the case (travel and conditions remain)

Not particularly surprising, the USWNT always had a much better public realations case than court case. The court correctly points out that you can't argue that you would have made more money under the USMNT pay for play based CBA afterwards when you specifically negotiated for the insurance of salary over pay for play.
 

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MDLzera
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Analysis from ESPN here:


Klausner effectively concluded that differences in payment structure were the result of choices made by the women's players and their union -- including guaranteed annual salaries of at least $100,000 for 20 contracted players -- and not discrimination by the federation.

The 32-page ruling went through a detailed history of the collective bargaining process that led to the current CBA between U.S. Soccer and the USWNTPA that was signed in 2017. Klausner noted that representatives of the players rejected a pay-for-play model identical to the men early in those negotiations in 2016. In later negotiations, the players offered a counterproposal with lesser bonuses than the federation's offer in exchange for more contracted players and higher base salaries -- benefits not part of the CBA between U.S. Soccer and the men's union.
Which is pretty much what we were saying here.

On the other hand, their PR campaign has gotten a ton of traction, and at some point you have to imagine USSF will just offer to give them identical terms to the men. It won't be good for the WNT or the NWSL, but it'll at least be a way to put the issue to bed.

At root, this is a public-perception and equity battle, but not a legal one. USSF's decisions around turf fields, hotels and flights were probably not legally discriminatory, but they were dick moves. And self-defeating, too: those dick moves have caused (and will continue to cause) them 10x the pain relative to the dollars saved. It's just not that hard to find a playable grass stadium field, even in fall and winter, unless you're in the frozen northlands.
 

Cellar-Door

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Analysis from ESPN here:




Which is pretty much what we were saying here.

On the other hand, their PR campaign has gotten a ton of traction, and at some point you have to imagine USSF will just offer to give them identical terms to the men. It won't be good for the WNT or the NWSL, but it'll at least be a way to put the issue to bed.

At root, this is a public-perception and equity battle, but not a legal one. USSF's decisions around turf fields, hotels and flights were probably not legally discriminatory, but they were dick moves. And self-defeating, too: those dick moves have caused (and will continue to cause) them 10x the pain relative to the dollars saved. It's just not that hard to find a playable grass stadium field, even in fall and winter, unless you're in the frozen northlands.
The flights and hotels moves forward as well, those they at least have a stronger case for. But yeah, the big issue is while USSF is probably in some ways "in the right" they're getting killed in the PR war.
 

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MDLzera
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The flights and hotels moves forward as well, those they at least have a stronger case for. But yeah, the big issue is while USSF is probably in some ways "in the right" they're getting killed in the PR war.
...Which kinda bugs me, because it feels like the women's team wants it both ways. They wanted the benefit of the bargain they made in ensuring the financial security of players (and a greater number of players to boot), but then once the USSF was reaping the benefits of the team's on-field success, they suddenly wanted the benefit of the bargain the MNT had made instead. Well, yeah, no shit, I wish I always chose the best option too. But if you're given a choice and opt for "less risk, less reward", and then it turns out the reward would really have paid out, just feels sour grapes to say "hey wait, actually we now wish we had the higher-reward option, so we're going to cast you as this big woman-hating group of bad guys in order to twist your arm into giving us more money". Like, we're supposed to be better than African FAs on stuff like this, and yet, the same drama is playing out - just in a courtroom.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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...and some USWNT players are debating skipping the NWSL at that point. I guess they make enough money to have that option. Everyone else is a sucker, it would seem.

There's some unique conflict of interest in that NJ governor Phil Murphy declared that pro sports could resume playing in NJ - and that he's also the owner of Sky Blue FC. And yes I know the proposed NWSL tournament will be in Utah, but still, bit of an awkward decision for him.
 

Awesome Fossum

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