Readers unanimously support women in contract dispute with Federation.(Monday, December 27, 1999) -- SoccerTimes has yet to receive an e-mail voicing supporting the United States Soccer Federation in its contract squabble with the 20 members of the Women's World Cup champion team. Here is a sampling of the stream of correspondences backing the women.
Disappointed in USSF
I am very disappointed in the response United States Soccer Federation gave in its interim contract renewal offer to the women of the national team. There should be, at the minimum, equality with the men's contract, and far greater if one considers both teams impact on the world of soccer.
It is as if we are fighting FIFA so the women can use a size-5 ball and play 45 minute halves. Yes, the women's game is different than the men's. Yes, a good U-19 boys team would probably beat the women's national team. All games are relative. But sports is about "teamwork, respect, positive values, perspective, fair play, healthy lifestyles, community service, and self evaluation." One would have a hard time convincing me that any other sports team has faired better than these women on our national team.
Please pass this message to the USSF. Oh, yes. Also ask USSF to support the Title IX initiatives by supporting a reduction in the football scholarships, rather than a reduction to the minor sports such as men's soccer, swimming, wrestling, baseball etc.
For, all things being equal, football would make the same amount of money if all Division I schools reduced their football scholarships. There would be fewer boys playing at the collegiate level but the pros would still get the cream of the crop and there would be more parity in the college ranks.
Bob Grandinetti [email@example.com]
I will not watch any game or purchase anything from any advertiser of the games until the original team is rehired and given a fair contract.
Elaine J. Messing [firstname.lastname@example.org]
What's wrong with the USSF?
Hello? Does the United States Soccer Federation have a collective brain? Do they know how bad the contract issue looks? The numbers (the money) being tossed around in the press from both sides is NOT (should not be) significant enough to cause a problem. If this problem isn't sorted out soon, the momentum gained by the women over the last four years is going to be lost.
Because of this issue, and delaying the selection of a new coach (class, can we say Lauren Gregg?), the USSF is rapidly gaining votes for the most short-sighted, inept, and petty sports bureaucracy of the century. They will soon challenge professional boxing if they keep up their current level of performance.
Anyone who knows anything about playing soccer (does this exclude USSF executives?) knows the incredible amount of time these players have put in over the years. They are also the best ambassadors for soccer (and possibly any sport) this country has seen in decades. Simply put, pay them like professionals.
One of the USSF's prime missions is to promote the growth of the game. The USSF played an important part in the growth of the women's national team to its present status. Unfortunately, It doesn't appear USSF has the vision or ability to utilize the asset they helped create. Since the Women's World Cup, it's almost like USSF is playing to lose. I have to ask: Is this just stupidity or do we have some sexist pigs flying around? These actions have hurt the players, USSF, and everyone who loves the game.
Someone at the USSF has to step up and lead.
Dan Murphy [DanMur@symix.com]
Good for the women
Good for them! Here the USSF finally has a highly marketable commodity and they are letting it slip (or perhaps happily forcing it) between the cracks. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that some foolishly macho and insecure guys are just as happy to see the women out the spotlight. Foolish, foolish, foolish . . .
Who says that the popularity of soccer has to begin with the men and trickle down to the women? The opposite is happening and I believe the men don't like it. If who ever made\makes these decisions was the CEO of Pepsi, Coke, Nike, etc., they'd be fired immediately for letting their best product languish on the shelf.
This is really outrageous!
Bob Cerutti [email@example.com]
I think that you should encourage everyone that visits this site to call Tom King at USSF and complain about the way they are treating the U.S. women's team and the fact that Lauren Gregg has yet to be hired.
I did and if others did maybe we can make a difference.
Jeff Campbell [JeffCampbell@sellingpower.com]
Editor's note: The USSF phone number is (312) 808-1300.
USSF should be ashamed
I am a devoted fan of Major League Soccer, the men's national team and I became a fan of the women's team this summer.
The USSF should be as ashamed as I am disgusted about the way the organization is handling the women's team contract talks. The USSF would not know a good opportunity if it kicked a soccer ball in its face.
Women's soccer popularity is at an all-time high. This visibility could potentially spill over and help the men's team get some much needed exposure. But the USSF is going to waste this chance. Why? To split nickels over a gold mine of an opportunity that we may never see again?
I am surprised but I'm not sure why. These are the same guys who forced (coach) Tony DiCicco out for no good reason. These are the guys botching the hiring of a replacement for DiCicco. These are the guys who opted not to buy television rights to show the Confederations Cup while the U.S. men's team finished third, beating Germany and surprising the world.
Now I know why soccer isn't popular in this country. It's not the sport that has failed to grab the public. It's the idiots in charge who seem to be working against soccer rather than for it.
Chris Murphy [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Pay them what they deserve
These women athletes have come very far and worked very hard over the last few years. They deserve what there asking for and more. I can't believe that these girls have given so much to the sport of soccer and yet they have to fight for a salary.
If this was the men's soccer team, this would never been a problem. It's like taking a step back into the Stone Age the way women are always put on the back burner. I believe the coverage these girls received was international status to say the least.
It's all about controlling and dictating who get's what. i go on record to say these women deserve a lot more!!!!!
Pablo Mummey [email@example.com]