With Sunday's clinical 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup final, the U.S. women's national team has now won four of the eight women's World Cup tournaments since it began in 1991. The men haven't been so successful, winning a total of zero world titles. It's a statistic and a moment that has given these female athletes new ammunition to demand higher salaries from the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The USWNT filed its lawsuit for equal pay in March, noting that not only do the women win more than the men, but in recent years they've brought in more revenue too. Still, their male counterparts are paid more in bonuses, etc.
We know the women's team has fan support in its pursuit of more money. The U.S. fans who were lucky enough to be in Stade de Lyon during Sunday's final in Lyon, France were shouting, "Equal pay!" in between their usual "USA! USA!" chants.
Before accepting the trophy on Sunday, Rapinoe stopped and chatted for several moments with French President Emmanuel Macron and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The Fox commentators mused she must have been "negotiating." As it turns out, she was. After the trophy celebration, Rapinoe told press that while she and Infantino had just shared "pleasantries," she also accepted an invitation to meet with him to air her concerns.
"There was a wry smile in there, for sure," she said. "He knows that I know. I think he did say, 'Let's have a conversation.' I said, 'I'd love to'."
Some other famous female athletes and politicians used Sunday's victory to file a symbolic amicus brief.
Congratulations to the #USWNT on their 4th World Cup win! These athletes have brought more attention, support, & pride to women’s sport than perhaps any other team in history. It is long past time to pay them what they rightly deserve. ???????????? #USAvNED #WorldCupfinal #EqualPay— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 7, 2019
Rapinoe also sounded off on how FIFA scheduled two men's finals the same day as their championship game. Brazil beat Peru to claim the Copa América title, and the U.S. men lost in Sunday's Gold Cup final, falling to Mexico 1-0.