US Soccer Federation’s new President Cindy Parlow Cone has publicly denounced the legal papers submitted last week by USSF’s lawyers, Seyfarth Shaw.
The filed documents revealed the attorneys for the USSF argued that women’s national team players had lesser skills and responsibilities than the US men’s team in its defence against a gender discrimination lawsuit from USWNT players.
A group of 29 USWNT players joined forces last year to begin legal action against their governing body, requesting $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act.
The release of the court documents into the public domain caused an outpouring of public backlash led by the USWNT themselves. During the warm-up and anthems ahead of their final She Believes Cup match against Japan, members of the USWNT protested by covering the USSF crest from their jerseys.
Co-captain of the USWNT Megan Rapinoe called the organisation “misogynistic and sexist” after the court documents were released and said she "didn't buy" the apology from Carlos Cordeiro.
Former President Carlos Cordeiro was forced to resign as a result of the huge response to the documents and Cindy Parlow Cone, his Vice President, was announced as the replacement. Parlow Cone was a former US World Cup and Olympic champion during her professional football career and is the first woman to appointed as President of the USSF.
Parlow Cone has already spoken out publicly against the use of language by former lawyers, Seyfarth Shaw, calling it “an error” and announcing the appointment of a new legal team from Latham & Watkins.
“[The language] resulted from a fundamental breakdown in our internal process that led to offensive assertions made by the federation that does not represent our core values,” she said in a statement reported by AP News.
Parlow Cone went on to stress the importance of working with the USWNT to reach an agreement that benefits all and grows the women's game within the US.
"As it relates to the lawsuit filed by the women, I offer the perspective of a former player. I know how important it is for both the federation and the players to move beyond this and keep working together on what unites us.
“We only have one federation and one senior women’s national team. We have to work together and move forward in a positive manner toward what I know are mutual goals, growing the game and winning.”
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