- The President of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro, apologized for a recently released court filing that contained “sexist” rhetoric bout the Women’s National Team.
- The documents said that male players have a “higher level of skill” and “more responsibility” than their female counterparts.
- In March, the women’s team sued U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination, demanding equal pay to the men’s team.
- While Cordeiro said that U.S. Soccer would still be fighting the case, they will “do so with the utmost respect not only for our Women’s National Team players but for all female athletes around the world.”
Apology From Carlos Cordeiro
The president of the United States Soccer Federation apologized Wednesday for “sexist” comments made in a legal filing against the Women’s National Team.
“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 the Women’s National Team,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said in a statement, just after the women’s team won the title game of the SheBelieves Cup.
“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,” he added. “As we do, we will continue to work to resolve this suit in the best interest of everyone involved.”
Lawsuit Against U.S. Soccer
In March, the women’s team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and violations of the Equal Pay Act. A court filing from U.S. Soccer released on Monday said that, for a variety of reasons, the Women’s National Team does not deserve equal pay to the Men’s National Team. The women have long argued that their back-to-back World Cup wins, consistently higher FIFA rankings than the men’s team, and other factors make them worthy of the money.
In their filing, however, U.S. Soccer said that playing on the men’s team “requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength.” It claimed that biological differences between men and women make men innately stronger and faster.
“No matter how great the great Katie Ledecky gets…she will never beat Michael Phelps or his endurance counterparts in the pool,” the filing stated, citing a study on the subject.
The filing also claimed that a men’s player “carries more responsibility” in their role, as they play more tournaments with big cash prizes, and generate more views on television games. It also claimed that the men frequently play abroad facing “unmatched” hostility from opposing fans.
This rhetoric has not been received well by the players of the women’s team. Co-captain Alex Morgan has previously said that women’s soccer does not require less skill, but “a different skill.” When co-captain Carli Lloyd was challenged about the women’s ability to be competitive against the men, she said, “I’m not sure. Shall we fight it out to see who wins and then we get paid more?”
Outrage From Public and Sponsors
The comments made by U.S. Soccer led to public outrage, including from some of their sponsors. A representative from the accounting firm Deloitte told a BuzzFeed News reporter that they were “deeply offended” by the views expressed in the lawsuit.
The Vice President of Budweiser, Monica Rustgi issued a statement along those same lines.
“The comments made by U.S. Soccer do not align with our values, nor our point of view on women’s soccer,” she said. “We champion and admire the athleticism of the women in this sport as we find them to be among the best athletes in the world.”
Frustration did not stop at sponsors for the organization. Sports Illustrated an article demanding that Cordeiro resign. The Women’s National Team took to the field in a silent protest on the matter as well.
Women’s Team Protests
While playing in the Wednesday game of the SheBelieves Cup, the women turned their jerseys inside out, hiding the U.S. Soccer logo. Instead, all that could be seen were the four stars on their jerseys, each representing a World Cup win.
“To every girl out there, to every boy out there, who watches this team who wants to be on this team or just wants to live their dream out, you are not lesser because you are a girl,” said player Megan Rapinoe during the game. “You are not better just because you’re a boy. We are all created equal.”
After the game, Rapinoe also addressed Cordiero’s apology after the game. She said she did not find it sincere.
“That wasn’t for us,” she told reporters. “That’s for fans, that’s for the media, that’s for sponsors, because that all sounded pretty similar to what we had heard before.”
See what others are saying: (ESPN) (Sports Illustrated) (Washington Post)
Florida Breaks Its Record for New Daily COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations
The Sunshine State now accounts for 20% of all new COVID-19 cases nationwide.
Florida Becomes COVID Epicenter
Florida reported 10,207 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, marking its largest single-day count to date. The grim record comes just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that the state had counted 21,683 new infections Friday, its highest record of daily cases since the start of the pandemic.
Florida has become the new epicenter of the most recent U.S. outbreaks driven by the delta variant. The state now accounts for one out of every five new cases, and the weekend numbers are highly significant because they surpass previous records that were logged before vaccines were readily available.
Notably, Florida’s vaccination rate is actually the exact same as the nationwide average of 49% fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times tracker. In fact, Florida’s rate is the highest among the top 10 states currently reporting the most COVID cases.
While Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has encouraged Florida residents to get vaccinated, he and the state’s legislature have also made it much harder for local officials to enforce protections to mitigate further spread.
DeSantis Bars Masking in Schools
On the same day that the state reported its highest cases ever, DeSantis signed an executive order banning school districts from requiring students to wear a mask when they go back to school later this month.
The move directly contradicts guidance issued by the CDC last week, which recommended that everyone inside K-12 schools wear a face covering.
DeSantis, for his part, has repeatedly claimed the spikes are part of “seasonal” increases driven by more people being indoors and air-conditioning systems circulating the virus. Still, he argued also Friday that he did not think masks were necessary to prevent children from transmitting COVID in the classroom, where they are inside with air conditioning.
At the same time, last week, Florida reported more than 21,000 infections among children younger than 19.
Florida is not the only state that has banned schools from requiring masks. In fact, many of the states suffering the biggest spikes have done the same, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — which all currently rank among the top 10 states with the highest per capita COVID cases.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NPR) (Axios)
Biden to Mandate COVID Vaccines for Federal Workers as CDC Changes Masking Guidance
News of the efforts came on the same day that the U.S. reported more than 100,000 new daily COVID cases for the first time since February.
Federal Vaccine Mandate
President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that all federal employees must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or consent to strict testing and other safety precautions, White House officials told reporters Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Biden said he was considering the requirement but did not provide any more information.
While the officials also said the details are still being hashed out, they did note that the policy would be similar to ones recently put in place by California and New York City, which respectively required state and city workers to get the jab or submit to regular testing.
Also on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines to recommend that Americans who live in areas “of substantial or high transmission,” as well as all students and teachers, wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.
Delta Causes Spikes, But Vaccines Still Prove Effective
The renewed COVID mitigation efforts come as the delta variant is driving massive surges all over the country.
Coronavirus cases have quadrupled throughout July, jumping from a weekly average of 11,799 on the first day of the month to 63,248 on Tuesday, according to The New York Times tracker. Tuesday also saw new daily infections topping 100,000 for the first time since February, with more than 108,000 reported, per The Times.
While the vast majority of new infections are among people who have not been vaccinated, there have also been increasing reports of breakthrough cases in people who have received the jab.
Those cases, however, do not mean that the vaccines are not effective.
No vaccine prevents 100% of infections. Health officials have said time and time again that the jabs are intended to prevent severe disease and death, and they are doing just that.
According to the most recent data for July 19, the CDC reported that only 5,914 of the more than 161 million Americans who have gotten the vaccine were hospitalized or died from COVID-19 — a figure that represents 0.0036% of vaccinated people.
While safety precautions may be recommended for some people who have received the vaccine, many media narratives have overstated the role breakthrough cases play in the recent spikes. As New York Magazine explains, it is imperative to understand these new mask recommendations are not happening because the vaccine is not effective, but because not enough people are getting the vaccine.
“Because breakthrough infections have so often made the news due to their novelty, that can create a perception of more cases than are actually happening — particularly without more robust tracking of the actual cases to provide context,” the outlet wrote.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNBC)
Wisconsin Police Deny Planting Evidence in Viral Video, Release Their Own Body Cam Footage
The footage police released shows that during a search, officers found a corner tear from a plastic bag inside a backseat passenger’s pocket. An officer then discarded it into the car after determining that it was empty.
Viral Video Appears To Show Officer Planting Evidence
The Caledonia Police Department in Wisconsin has responded to a viral cell phone video that appears to show an officer planting a small plastic baggie inside of a car during a traffic stop.
The now-viral footage was posted to Facebook by a man who goes by GlockBoy Savoo.
The user, who also filmed the clip, wrote in his post’s caption that the officer did this “just to get a reason to search the car” and said the cop didn’t know he was being recorded by the passenger.
Police Shut Down Accusations With Their Own Footage
After that video spread across social media, many were outraged, calling the Caledonia police dirty for seemingly planting evidence. All the outrage eventually prompted the department to announce an investigation Saturday.
Within hours, the department provided an update, claiming that officers didn’t actually plant any evidence or do anything illegal.
Police shared a lengthy summary of events, along with two body camera clips from the incident. That statement explained that the driver of the vehicle was pulled over for going 63 in a 45mph zone.
Two passengers in the backseat who were then spotted without seatbelts were asked to identify themselves and step out of the car. During a search of one passenger’s pockets, an officer pulled out “an empty corner tear” from a plastic baggie.
Police claim the corner tear did not contain any illegal substances, though they said this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs.
In one body cam clip, an officer can be heard briefly questioning the backseat passenger about the baggie. Then, that piece of plastic gets handed off to different officers who also determined it as empty before the officer in the original viral video discarded it into the back of the car.
The officer can also be seen explaining where the plastic came from to the passenger recording him.
“Aye, bro you just threw that in here!” the front seat passenger says, as heard in his version of the events.
“Yeah, cause it was in his pocket and I don’t want to hold onto it. It’s on their body cam that they took it off of him…I’m telling you where it came from, so. It’s an empty baggie at the moment too, so,” the officer replies.
The department went on to explain that while it would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s car, this footage proves that evidence was not planted.
Authorities also noted that no arrests were made in this incident and the driver was the only one issued a citation for speeding. The statement added that since four officers were present at the scene, police have more than six hours of footage to review but they promised to release the footage in full in the near future.