Donald Trump praised the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) on Wednesday for their “big win” against Thailand, but declined to answer questions about one topic that’s on the minds of all of the women on the team: equal pay.
As Yahoo News reports, the American women’s victory over Thailand — a 13-0 blowout — in the first round of group play has been controversial, to put it mildly. The women have been accused of bad sportsmanship, of deliberately running up the score to humiliate their over-matched opponents, and of showboating, among other accusations.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, however, the team doesn’t see things that way, with coach Jill Ellis reminding World Cup fans that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for professional athletes at the peaks of their careers. To ask them to dial things back would have been unfair to them, she said.
On Wednesday, Trump got in on the conversation. NBC’s Peter Alexander asked the POTUS his thoughts about the matter, and the normally-verbose Trump simply said, “big win.” Alexander then asked Trump what he thought about an issue near and dear to the hearts of the players on the women’s team: equal pay. To that question, Trump simply answered, “we’ll talk about that later.”
Abby Wambach called out fans who criticized the USWNT players, saying they would not do the same thing during a men's game. https://t.co/Q27UoAS5Vs
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 12, 2019
Several prominent American women’s soccer players, past and present, have been advocating for equal pay on par with what their male counterparts make. As ESPN reported in 2016, stars Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan, among others, were included in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in which the women demanded the same pay as their male peers for international competition. Despite the fact that the American women dominate in international soccer, while the men’s team routinely fails to advance out of the group stage, women make a quarter of what their male peers make.
“Recently, it has become clear that the Federation has no intention of providing us equal pay for equal work,” said Megan Rapinoe at the time.
That the dominant women earn only a fraction of what their comparatively mediocre male peers make, at least when it comes to international soccer, is emblematic of the larger, nationwide political issue of the pay gap between the genders. It’s an issue that Congress is trying to address. As The Hill reports, House Democrats recently passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is intended to address some of the issues related to the pay gap. However, it’s stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, and it seems to be an issue that Republicans, like Donald Trump, aren’t willing to address.