This week, former President Barack Obama again stepped into the national conversation with a message that for many, is a reminder of what we’ve lost with the ascent of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency. He tweeted support for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, which soon after his post was set to go up against the Thailand team in one of the opening matches of the Women’s World Cup.
Not only did Obama wish the team well, but he pointed to the important ideals that the team have stood for and continue to advocate for, sharing:
@USWNT is something to smile about. It was great to celebrate with them back in 2015 and I’m excited to root them on in their drive to earn their fourth star. Best of luck to these champions for equality, on and off the field.’
The team won the Women’s World Cup back in 2015, and are hoping to continue their historic success in their current incarnation this year with another victory, which Obama referred to as their fourth star.
As for the equality they’ve also been demanding, just in March, after a back-and-forth with the U.S. Soccer Federation over their pay registering at significantly lower level than that dished out to the men’s team, the women’s team filed a lawsuit against their common employer alleging sexist discrimination.
Although there’d been some speculation about the lawsuit fizzling out considering the World Cup, both sides have indicated they’re ready to fight. The federation asserted in material field with the court last month that the women are paid less because — according to their estimation — they’re not completing the same work that the men are, and the women’s team has replied bluntly sharing:
‘We look forward to a trial next year after the World Cup.’
The disparity between their pay and that of their male counterparts is pretty glaring. Although at the very top overall numbers are still pretty high, the highest paid female player still earns some $200,000 less than the highest paid male, and by the time you get to the fiftieth highest paid women’s player, the salary is at about $25,000 — although their male counterpart earns some $250,000.
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama sharing his support for the team and their efforts: