The Women’s World Cup is now underway. Taking place in France, the tournament features 24 of the best women’s national teams throughout the world.
It’s also a stage for widespread gender discrimination.
Prior to the tournament, the distribution of tickets was absolutely botched by the infamously incompetent folks at FIFA. And here in the United States, a lawsuit by our women’s national team marked the run-up to the tournament.
That lawsuit, filed by 28 players and the union that represents them, alleges widespread discrimination against women players by the United States Soccer Federation, even after a recently ratified collective bargaining agreement. Players say they’re consistently denied equal pay, promotion, and playing and travel conditions compared to the men’s team.
Their suit comes on the heels of a 2016 complaint by five members of the women’s team — Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan — with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which detailed similar complaints.
Elsewhere, the reigning World Female Player of the Year, Ada Hegerberg of Norway, elected not to play for her national team in this World Cup because of mistreatment by the Norwegian Football Federation that left her mentally broken and depressed. That’s even after Norway became the first country to pay men and women players the same amount.
This is, to say the least, a bad look for the premier competition for women’s soccer, and especially for the premier team in the world.