United States women's national team star Megan Rapinoe criticized Carlos Cordeiro after the former president of U.S. Soccer signaled his intention to run in the March presidential election.
Rapinoe referenced Cordeiro's resignation in March 2020 and claimed he walked away after displaying "caveman levels of misogyny":
Many were surprised by Cordeiro's announcement Wednesday because of the circumstances leading to his departure nearly two years ago.
U.S. Soccer and members of the USWNT were engaged in a protracted legal battle in which the players were alleging they received unequal pay and unequal working conditions compared to their male national team peers.
In one legal filing, the federation attempted to argue the women's national team players weren't as skilled as the men.
"The point is that the job of MNT player (competing against senior men's national teams) requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of WNT player (competing against senior women's national teams)," per CNN's Lauren M. Johnson.
U.S. Soccer went on to defend the point by claiming it was "indisputable science" and not merely a "sexist stereotype."
Cordeiro apologized for the content of the filing, saying it "did not reflect the values of our Federation or our tremendous admiration of our Women's National Team":
Tristan D'Amours @tristandamours
US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro releases a statement of apology to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a>. The team is still playing a game right now. <a href="https://t.co/2hxXK2idoK">pic.twitter.com/2hxXK2idoK</a>
He subsequently stepped down days later, with Cindy Parlow Cone taking over as the president of U.S. Soccer.
In addition to U.S. Soccer's handling of the USWNT lawsuit under his watch, Cordeiro's election would likely draw criticism in light of the scandals plaguing the National Women's Soccer League.
U.S. Soccer announced in October it would retain outside counsel for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior across women's soccer.
That came after multiple stories detailing inappropriate behavior by NWSL coaches and club officials toward players and in some cases female employees. The extent to which the league and U.S. Soccer handled allegations brought in front of them became a focal point as well.
For some, Cordeiro ascending back to the presidency would send a concerning message as to whether U.S. Soccer can adequately address its structural issues.