Soccer Monday with Annie Peterson for March 11, 2019
Me ranting about sexism (what else is new?), as many must-read links as I had time for, and a lightning-round with Megan Rapinoe
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“Make me a sandwich.”
Like many of my colleagues from different outlets, I woke up to a cache of sexist emails/comments on Saturday morning because of the U.S. women’s lawsuit over unequal pay. The sandwich comment was really common, and frankly so overused it has lost any sting. It’s also unsurprising.
But what is surprising is the subtle digs that come from folks who should know better. Even fellow journalists.
Although it wasn’t related to the issue of equal pay per se, a (male) sportswriter went through my USWNT story and picked out a grammar error in the copy and took me to task for it the next night when I was covering another game. (PS, the error was fixed in subsequent versions of the story and it was a subject/verb agreement thing with the word team.)
While I am concerned about grammar because it goes with the job, the admonishment seemed weird. I would NEVER think of going through a fellow journalist’s copy from another news organization, picking out a grammatical error and then calling them out on it a day later.
I wish I would have stood up for myself, but I didn’t, I laughed it off.
But it brings me to a larger point:
Even subtle sexism (and not so subtle) exists in media and is framing the coverage of this particular issue and the discussion of it in news rooms and press boxes. The debate quickly devolves into a question of revenue and away from the bottom line: Should those players who represent the United States on an international stage be compensated and treated equitably for the same work? Pointing out here that the U.S. Soccer Federation is a non-profit organization with a central mission of growing the game.
Yes, it’s complicated. But even boiling an argument down to the bare-bones revenue issue ignores how market conditions have historically created the inequity.
The fact is, that many reporters have preconceived notions about the USWNT lawsuit and the issue in general without putting in the work. They don’t bother to learn how the sport even functions, the differences between national teams and club teams. Or worse, they conflate FIFA’s compensation to federations with the players’ pay.
It would help if we had more women’s voices in sports media. (And it would further help if we paid those women equally to their male counterparts.)
I honestly didn’t set out to make this about the media because that’s kind of like making it about me, which is weak. But I believe that some introspection is needed here before I hear or read another “hot take” about this issue.
And with that, we’ll move on to the links. But as a reminder, Equal Pay Day this year is on April 2.
This Week in Women’s Soccer
Reminder: The underlined words are the links. CLICK these! Clicks = Attention from editors, producers, and webmasters. If you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! email@example.com.
OK, first a roundup of the lawsuit links, because there’s a lot of great content. The challenge for every reporter is what to keep and what to drop, so it’s interesting and enlighting to see the different approaches. Oh, and Lots of people wrote stories. I just couldn’t include them all because, well, I’ve got opening day for Fast Eddie today.
First, here my story for The Associated Press. Gotta get those clicks, people.
Also, I wrote about reaction from other female athletes, including Serena Williams.
Here’s the lawsuit story the great Andrew Das for the New York Times. The New York Times had a great follow-up, too, looking at the different sports.
Grant Wahl weighs in for Sports Illustrated.
Will Hobson covered the story for the Washington Post.
Jeff Kassouf’s story for The Equalizer.
Jonathan Tannenwald was busy this week. Here is his story on the lawsuit. Additionally, he wrote a very nice column on Sam Mewis and how she should play more.
Graham Hays on how the women’s team is confident, despite the results of the SheBelieves Cup.
Caitlin Murray says its a work in progress for the Guardian.
John Halloran traces it back to the loss to Sweden at the Olympics.
I spoke to Rapinoe for a story looking ahead to how she’s feeling in advance of the World Cup and the NWSL season.
Jamie Goldberg caught up with Adrianna Franch following her national team debut.
Jamie also had a good story on Lindsey Horan’s injury.
Adidas did the right thing.
My colleague Rob Harris wrote about how FIFA has lots and lots of money. And that has many wondering why prize money for the Women’s World Cup isn’t better.
Suzanne Wrack spoke to Toni Duggan in advance of the WWCup.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Random questions for Megan Rapinoe
With all the talk about gender equity and Sam Mewis and goalkeepers at the SheBelieves Cup, I decided to ask Megan Rapinoe a bunch of random questions, lightning-round style. Here ya go:
Annie: First of all, what was the best movie you saw last year?
Rapinoe: I didn’t see it last year but I just saw Free Solo. My hands and feet were sweating the whole time I was I had anxiety for two days straight. It is amazing.
Annie: What’s the best book you read last year?
Rapinoe: You know, I don’t even know if I read a book last year. I don’t think I did read a book last year. I read articles more, so.”
Annie: What at is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Rapinoe: It’s either to always back yourself, or you can’t control what happens to you what you can control the way that you act react to it.
Annie: If there was one word to describe you. What word that would that be and why?
Rapinoe: Oh gosh. This is hard. Effervescent? (Laughing) I love champagne and, you know, I’ve tried to always bring something constantly new and be constantly alive.