Megan Rapinoe Calls Carlos Cordeiro's Letter 'Disappointing' Amid USWNT Lawsuit

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States during a game between England and USWNT at Exploria Stadium on March 05, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

United States women's national team star Megan Rapinoe is not pleased with the letter U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro released Saturday.

"I think it shows the distance between us," she said of the letter regarding the USWNT's lawsuit about pay inequality, per Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That was disappointing for sure."

She also pointed to Sunday's holiday while saying, "If that's how you want to celebrate International Women's Day, and, you know, show support for not only your players but for, you know, potentially future players and girls all over the place, that's one way to do it," per Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer.

Cordeiro stressed that FIFA and not U.S. Soccer is responsible for prize money at the World Cup and said the USWNT has "repeatedly declined our invitation to meet" because his organization will not make up the difference in prize money between the men's and women's World Cups.

"Last month, we offered the WNT Players Association multiple contract options, which we strongly believe address the team's goals as they have been presented to us by the players and their representatives," he wrote. "In particular, we have offered to provide identical compensation to our women's and men's players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer."

Kassouf passed along a response from Molly Levinson, who is a spokesperson for the USWNT players, that said the letter "is riddled with falsehoods."

Of note was Levinson's contention that the "USSF did not and has never offered equal pay to the women players."

Jeff Kassouf @JeffKassouf

Molly Levinson, spokesperson for the #USWNT players, says "USSF did not and has never offered equal pay to the women players." Full statement in reply to Carlos Cordeiro's letter: https://t.co/vTj30wUauR

Roger Gonzalez of CBSSports.com summarized the situation, noting 28 players from the USWNT are part of a class-action lawsuit that was filed in a Los Angeles federal court last year alleging gender discrimination by the USSF when it comes to paying the women's team and men's team.

In February, the union representing the men's team released a statement of support saying the USSF has "been working very hard to sell a false narrative to the public and even to members of Congress" and suggesting the women's team "were due at least triple what our expired deal was worth in player compensation."

The USWNT has won four World Cups, including the last two. The men's team did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup.