As the United States women’s national team was putting an exclamation point on its latest tournament triumph, federation leadership was apologizing for embarrassing the team.
Pretty poor timing.
U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro issued an apology on Wednesday after a court filing disparaged female athletes and called the World Cup champions an inferior squad to the men’s national team.
The filing also claimed that the women have it easier because fierce away crowds are tougher on the men.
Multiple major sponsors issued statements condemning the language in the court filing and supporting the USWNT.
The team itself warmed up for Wednesday’s match with their uniform tops inside out, hiding the badge of the federation, and took its Starting XI photo as an entire squad.
On behalf of U.S. Soccer, I sincerely apologize for the offense and pain caused by language in this week’s court filing, which did not reflect the values of our Federation or our tremendous admiration of our Women’s National Team. Our WNT players are incredibly talented and work tirelessly, as they have demonstrated time and again from their Olympic Gold medals to their World Cup titles.
Even as we continue to defend the Federation in court, we are making immediate changes. I have asked the firm of Latham & Watkins to join and guide our legal strategy going forward. I have made it clear to our legal team that even as we debate facts and figures in the course of this case, we must do so with the utmost respect not only for our Women’s National Team players but for all female athletes around the world. As we do, we will continue to work to resolve this suit in the best interest of everyone involved.
It’s a whopping helping of too little, too late. However you feel about the information contained in the court filings, it’s absurd to believe Cordeiro is just now learning what’s contained inside them.
The amount of times the federation has underestimated the strength and resolve USWNT is insulting enough as it is without actual words coming into play.
At this point, the federation may have to grant equal pay just to get a modicum of egg off its face.