Connect with us

U.S.

U.S. Soccer President Apologizes for “Sexist” Comments in Court Filing Following On-Field Protest

Published

on

  • 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)

U.S.

CDC Data Shows Booster Shots Provide Effective Protection Against Omicron

Published

on

Public health experts have encouraged Americans to get boosted to protect themselves against the omicron variant, but less than 40% of fully vaccinated people who are eligible for their third shot have received it.


A First Glimpse of Official Data on Boosters and Omicron

COVID-19 booster shots are effective at preventing Americans from contracting omicron and protecting those who do become infected from severe illness, according to three reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Friday.

The reports mark the first real-world data regarding the highly infectious variant and how it has impacted the U.S.

One of the CDC reports, which studied data from 25 state and local health departments, found that there were 149 cases per 100,000 people among those had been boosted on average each week. 

In comparison, the figure was 255 cases per 100,000 people in Americans who had only received two shots.

Another study that looked at nearly 88,000 hospitalizations in 10 states found that the third doses were 90% effective at preventing hospitalization. 

By contrast, those who received just two shots were only 57% protected against hospitalization by the time they were eligible for a booster six months after their second dose.

Additionally, the same report also found that the boosters were 82% effective at preventing visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers, a marked increase from the 38% efficacy for those who were six months out from their two-shot regime and had not yet received a third.

Low Booster Shot Vaccination Rates

Public health officials hope that the new data will urge more Americans to get their booster shots.

Since the emergence of omicron, experts and leading political figures have renewed their efforts to encourage people to get their third shots, arguing they are the best form of protection. 

The CDC currently recommends that everyone 12 and older get a booster shot five months after their second shot of Pfizer and Moderna or two months after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Still, in the U.S., less than 40% of fully vaccinated individuals eligible for a third shot have gotten one.

While COVID cases in the country have begun to drop over the past several days from their peak of over 800,000 average daily infections, the figures are still nearly triple those seen in the largest previous surges.

Hospitalizations have also slowly begun to level out over the last week in places that were hit first, such as New York City and Boston, but medical resources still remain strained in many parts of the country that experienced later surges and have not yet seen cases slow.

Some experts predict that the U.S. will see a sharp decline in omicron cases, as experienced in South Africa and Britain. Still, they urge American’s to get boosted to ensure their continued protection from the variant, as well as other strains that will emerge.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (CNN) (The New York Times)

Continue Reading

U.S.

California Bill Would Allow Kids 12 and Up to Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent

Published

on

Nearly one million California teens and preteens between the ages of 12 and 17 are not vaccinated against COVID-19. 


State Senator Proposes Legislation

Legislation proposed in California on Thursday would allow children age 12 and up to get vaccinated without parental consent. 

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Bill 866 in the hope it could boost vaccination rates among teenagers. According to Wiener, nearly one million kids aged 12- to 17-years old remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 in the state of California. 

“Unvaccinated teens are at risk, put others at risk & make schools less safe,” Wiener tweeted. “They often can’t work, participate in sports, or go to friends’ homes.”

“Many want to get vaccinated but parents won’t let them or aren’t making the time to take them. Teens shouldn’t have to rely on parents’ views & availability to protect themselves from a deadly virus.”

Currently, teens in California can receive vaccines for human papillomavirus and hepatitis B without parental consent. They can also make other reproductive or mental healthcare choices without a guardian signing off. Wiener argues that their medical autonomy should expand to all vaccines, especially during a pandemic that has already killed roughly 78,000 Californians. 

Vaccine Consent Across the U.S.

“Teens shouldn’t have to plot, scheme or fight with their parents to get a vaccine,” he said. “They should simply be able to walk in & get vaccinated like anyone else.”

Bill 866 would allow any kids ages 12 and up to receive any vaccine approved or granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, Pfizer’s COVID vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA for those 16 and older. It has received emergency authorization for ages five through 15. 

Across the United States, vaccine consent ages vary. While the vast majority of states require parental approval for minors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, kids as young as 11 can get the jab on their own in Washington, D.C. In Alabama, kids can receive it without parental consent at 14, in Oregon at 15, and in Rhode Island and South Carolina at 16. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, providers can waive consent in certain cases in Arkansas, Idaho, Washington, and Tennesee.

In October, California became the first state to announce plans to require that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend class. The mandate has yet to take effect, but under the guidelines, students will be “required to be vaccinated for in person learning starting the term following FDA full approval of the vaccine for their grade span.” 

In other words, once the FDA gives a vaccine full approval for those aged 12 and up, it will be required the following session for kids in grades 7-12. Once it does so for kids as young as five, the same process will happen for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. There will also be room for exemptions from the mandate. 

The Fight to Vaccinate California

This week, a group of California state legislators formed a Vaccine Work Group in order to boost public health policies in the state. Wiener is among the several members who are “examining data, hearing from experts, and engaging stakeholders to determine the best approaches to promote vaccines that have been proven to reduce serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”

“Vaccines protect not only individuals but also whole communities when almost everyone is vaccinated at schools, workplaces and businesses, and safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have already prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” Sen. Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said in a press release. “Public safety is a paramount duty of government, and I am proud to join a talented group of legislators in the pro-science Vaccine Work Group who want to end this disastrous pandemic and protect Californians from death and disability by preventable diseases.”

While vaccine policies have been a divisive subject nationwide, including in California, state politicians and leaders are hopeful public health initiatives will prevail. 

“If we allow disinformation to drive our state policy making we will not only see more Americans needlessly suffer and die, but we will sacrifice the long term stability of our society having effectively abandoned the idea that we all must work together to protect each other in times of crisis.” Catherine Flores Martin, the Executive Director of the California Immunization Coalition, added. 

See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (NBC News) (Sacramento Bee)

Continue Reading

U.S.

Inmates Sue Jail for Giving Them Ivermectin to Treat COVID-19 Without Consent

Published

on

Four detainees who filed the suit allege that the jail’s doctor gave them “incredibly high doses” of the anti-parasite in a “cocktail of drugs” that he said were “‘vitamins’, ‘antibiotics,’ and/or ‘steroids.’”


Washington County Detention Center Lawsuit

Four inmates at an Arkansas jail have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that they were unknowingly given the anti-parasite drug ivermectin without their consent by the detention center’s doctor after contracting COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and countless other medical experts have said that ivermectin — commonly used for livestock — can be dangerous and should not be used to treat the coronavirus.

According to the lawsuit, after testing positive for COVID in August, the four men at the Washington County Detention Center (WCDC) were given a “cocktail of drugs” twice a day by the facility’s doctor, Robert Karas.

The inmates claim that Dr. Karas did not tell them that he was giving them ivermectin, but instead said the drugs consisted of “‘vitamins’, ‘antibiotics,’ and/or ‘steroids.’”

The complaint also alleges that the detainees were given “incredibly high doses” of the drug, causing some to experience “vision issues, diarrhea, bloody stools, and/or stomach cramps.”

Use on Other Inmates

The four plaintiffs were far from the only people to whom Karas gave ivermectin.

According to the lawsuit, the doctor began using the drug to treat COVID starting in November of 2020. In August, the Washington County sheriff confirmed at a local finance and budget committee meeting that the doctor had been prescribing the drug to inmates, prompting the Arkansas Medical Board to launch an investigation.

In response, Karas informed a Medical Board investigator in a letter from his attorney that 254 inmates at the facility had been treated with ivermectin.

In the letter, he confirmed that whether or not detainees were given information about ivermectin was dependent on who administered it, but paramedics were not required to discuss the drug with them.

He also admitted that after the practice got media coverage, he “adopted a more robust informed consent form to assuage any concern that any detainees were being misled or coerced into taking the medications, even though they weren’t.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, which filed the suit on behalf of the inmates, also claimed in a statement that after questions were raised about the practice, the jail attempted to make detainees sign forms saying that they retroactively agreed to the treatments. 

The WCDC has not issued a public response to the lawsuits, but Dr. Karas appeared to address the situation in a Facebook post where he defended his actions.

“Guess we made the news again this week; still with best record in the world at the jail with the same protocols,” he wrote. “Inmates aren’t dumb and I suspect in the future other inmates around the country will be suiing their facilities requesting same treatment we’re using at WCDC-including the Ivermectin.”

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (CBS News) (NBC News)

Continue Reading