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US Soccer Argues Women Less Skilled Than Men

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Embroiled in a lawsuit over equal pay, lawyers for the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) employer argued in a court filing Monday that women athletes are less skilled and work less demanding jobs than their male counterparts.

The filing was part of US Soccer’s attempt to prove that it has not discriminated against the World Cup champion team based on their gender.

Court documents filed in the equal pay trial, which captivated the country last summer after the USWNT won its fourth World Cup title in France, show US Soccer lawyers arguing that, under the Equal Pay Act, “The job of a [men’s national team player] carries more responsibility within US Soccer than the job of a [women’s national team] player.”

US Soccer also pointed to biological differences and “indisputable science” to argue that women should be paid less because the men’s team “requires a higher level of skill” than the women’s team.

The federation’s lawyers grilled women’s national team stars like Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan over the fact that they were not as strong or fast as players on the men’s team.

“Do you think that the team could be competitive against the senior men’s national team?” a US Soccer lawyer asked Lloyd, according to documents filed last month.

“I’m not sure,” Lloyd said. “Shall we fight it out to see who wins and then we get paid more?”

As US Soccer built its case, a lawyer for the organization asked Morgan, “Do you think it requires more skill to play for the US Men’s National Team than the US Women’s National Team?”

“No,” Morgan replied. “It’s a different skill.”

That US men’s team players often face openly hostile fans at their own home games, US Soccer argued, was also evidence that men work a different, more demanding job than women. The US men’s opponents, like Mexico, sometimes attract more supporters to games played on US soil than the US men do, especially in the wake of the men’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

With a jury trial looming in May, the gulf between the USWNT and its employer appears wider than ever. The US women are asking for some $67 million in back pay for what they claim is US Soccer’s violation of the Equal Pay Act.

A letter released this week from US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro claimed that his organization had offered an equal pay structure with the men’s national team, which the women had rejected. But USWNT lawyers countered that the “equal pay” offer was based on a contract the men’s team had negotiated nine years ago in 2011, and which it is itself in the midst of renegotiating.

FIFA, the worldwide governing body of the sport, pays much larger chunks of prize money for the men’s World Cup than the women’s. In their suit, the women have argued that US Soccer should not pay them less because of FIFA’s prize structure, but US Soccer has said that matching the bonus paid out by FIFA to men’s winners would cause the organization financial harm.

Angering some women’s team players, Cordeiro released his letter on the eve of one of the national team’s biggest games played on US soil, a rematch of the 2019 World Cup game against Spain in front of a sold-out crowd in New Jersey.

The game is part of the She Believes Cup, an elite women’s tournament hosted by US Soccer around International Women’s Day that features young girls as “She Believes heroes.”

“I mean, the timing of it on the eve of not only a game, but in this tournament and on the eve of International Women’s Day,” Megan Rapinoe told reporters, according to the Athletic. “I guess if that’s how you want to celebrate International Women’s Day and show support for not only your players but future players and girls all over the place, that’s one way to do it.”

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Hamilton completes Bahrain practice ‘double top’, Albon crashes | Racing News

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MANAMA: Lewis Hamilton showed no sign of easing up after securing his record-equalling seventh drivers championship when he completed a practice ‘double top’ for Mercedes in Bahrain on Friday.
The 35-year-old Briton, who was fastest in the morning’s opening practice for Sunday’s Grand Prix, outpaced his rivals to top the times again in the afternoon’s twice red-flagged second session.
Hamilton clocked a late best lap in one minute and 28.971 seconds at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir, outpacing nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
His Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Sergio Perez of Racing Point, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri.
Lando Norris was seventh for McLaren ahead of Lance Stroll in the second Racing Point, Daniil Kvyat in the second Alpha Tauri and the luckless Alex Albon, who is fighting to keep his Red Bull seat, but who crashed heavily and wrecked his car.
After occasional light drizzle during opening practice in the morning, the floodlit second session was run in very warm and dry conditions with several drivers, including Hamilton, testing tyres for Pirelli,
Sainz was soon in the 1:30s to top the times followed by Raikkonen and then Verstappen, who was amusing himself with some droll messages to the Red Bull pit-wall.
“Who’s that in front of me?” he asked. “He’s drifting very nicely.”
There was no answer to broadcast, but the drifting ‘black arrow’ was being driven by Hamilton, slithering around on worn tyres.
This light-hearted banter was soon abruptly interrupted when Albon crashed heavily at the final corner, Turn 14, causing the session to be red-flagged.
The London-born Thai driver ran wide and appeared to have no grip as his Red Bull car bounced across a dusty gravel trap before squirting into the barriers.
The right side of the car was damaged severely with both wheels smashed and held only by safety tethers. It seemed he might also have damaged the chassis and gearbox, thus handing his team a possible repair bill of more than 600,000 euros.
For Albon, it was a confidence-shattering accident as he bids to retain his seat for next season having been told by the team to ‘raise his game’ in the season-closing races.
The session resumed after 12 minutes, but was halted again, almost immediately, as a dog ran out and across the track. The red flags came out again.
“If I’d known we were allowed dogs, I’d have brought mine,” said Vettel on team radio, capturing something of the end-of-term mood, before the action re-started.
With 12 minutes remaining, Hamilton regained top spot for the session with a lap in 1:28.971, a burst of speed that endorsed his competitive nature


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Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh seal ATK Mohun Bagan’s first ISL derby win | Football News

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VASCO: Fijian striker Roy Krishna continued his prolific goal-scoring form as he helped ATK Mohun Bagan prevail over SC East Bengal 2-0 in the first ever Indian Super League derby here on Friday.
Krishna, who had scored ATKMB’s lone goal against Kerala Blasters in their campaign opener, struck in the 49th minute before Manvir Singh killed the contest in the 85th minute with a solo effort.
With two wins on the trot, ATK Mohun Bagan led the table with six points, followed by Northeast United FC.
It was a typical Antonio Lopez Habas’ style of play that panned out on the field as ATKMB were slow to get off the blocks before taking control of the game.
Their defence, helmed by Tiri, put up a disciplined show to return with a clean slate for their second successive match.
For Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who built the SC East Bengal in less than a month’s time, it was a disappointing start to his coaching stint in India as he was let down badly by his striker up front.
As the sole striker, Balwant Singh was wayward up front and missed a sitter at the hour mark when he blasted over the bar just in front of the net.
They had the better ball possession but looked thin up front, leaving too much to do for their vice-captain and former Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington.
Plenty to prove as a coach in the ISL, Fowler went in for a defensive 4-3-2-1 formation with Narayan Das, Scott Neville, Daniel Fox and Rana Gharami in the backline.
Habas, the most successful ISL coach, was predictable in his approach, bringing back David Williams alongside Krishna, while Pritam Kotal, Tiri and Sandesh Jhingan guarded the goalmouth.
As in their last match against Kerala Blasters, ATKMB struggled to get going initially, while SCEB made some fine attacking moves but lacked the finishing touches.
The first opportunity came in the seventh minute when Anthony Pilkington brilliantly broke through the defences from the left but only to trip on his way inside the box.
Balwant had another brilliant chance in the 38th minute from a Surchandra Singh cross but the striker hit it past the far post.
ATKMB had their first real chance just a minute before with Javier Hernandez on the target but Debjit Majumder came on his way as the first half saw a stalemate.
Like in the last match when he struck the winner after the changeover, Krishna broke the deadlock and this time with a powerful left-footer past a diving Majumder.
It was Jayesh Rane who made a dashing run on the left and sent in a through ball to Hernandez before Krishna took control of the ball for a clinical finish.
SCEB almost got an equaliser in the 83rd minute with Pilikington firing in from the left but ATKMB custodian Arindam Bhattacharja stood tall and ensured another clean sheet for Habas’ side.
A minute later, Manvir chased a ball from the midfield and made a fine run, beating the SCEB defence before firing past Majumder and sealing three points from the big match.
The red-and-gold brigade wore black armbands in memory of the Argentine legend Diego Maradona who died of heart attack on Wednesday.
Before the kickoff, both the teams observed one minute’s silence in honour of Indian football stalwarts P K Banerjee and Chuni Goswami who died this year.


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In Pics: Smith, Finch hit tons as Australia beat India by 66 runs in first ODI

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