Jul 14, 2019

U.S. Soccer sponsor P&G sides with women's team equal pay fight

Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States holds the 2019 FIFA World Cup Champion Trophy. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. Soccer partner and sponsor Procter & Gamble donated more than $500,000 to the team's players association, signaling support “to be on the right side of history" on equal pay for all of its athletes, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: P&G's announcement, the first of its kind, could increase pressure on U.S. Soccer to resolve the players' federal gender discrimination lawsuit.

Context: The issue on equal pay was re-highlighted after the U.S. women's national soccer team won the World Cup final last week against the Netherlands. As the women's team celebrated their victory on the field last Sunday, "equal pay" chants erupted among fans.

  • The team filed a wage-discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. 28 teammates later sued the federation alleging years of "institutionalized gender discrimination.”
  • On Monday, the team and the federation begin mediation talks, per NYT.

P&G's Secret deodorant brand said in an advertising campaign that its $529,000 donation is symbolic. "Inequality is about more than pay and players. It’s about values," it said.

Yes, but: On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, U.S. Women's Soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe said she was disappointed in how the team's sponsors have been handling the equal pay conversation. She responded to P&G's donation, saying these companies should have been on the forefront of the issue:

“These are some of the most powerful corporations, not just in sports but in the world, and have so much weight that they can throw around. And I think that they just need to get comfortable with throwing it around.”

Rapinoe said she would keep fighting: “I'm going to fight for equal pay every day for myself, for my team, and for every single person out there, man, woman, immigrant, U.S. citizen, person of color, whatever it may be. ‘Equal pay,’ as the great Serena Williams said, ‘Until I'm in my grave.’”

Go deeper: U.S. women's national soccer team generating more game revenue than men since 2015

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.