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'Blatant misogyny and sexism' - Rapinoe rips recent statements as U.S. Soccer president Cordeiro issues apology

11:27 AM GMT+8 12/03/2020
Rapinoe USWNT 2020
The midfielder was among those to criticize the federation for the language used in recent court documents

U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro issued an apology on Wednesday for any "offense and pain" caused by a series of statements aimed at the U.S. women's national team while Megan Rapinoe ripped the federation for "blatant misogyny and sexism".

court document revealed on Monday evening contained a number of disparaging remarks about the USWNT as the players and federation continue to battle regarding equal pay.

The documents said that there is a fundamental difference in “overall soccer playing ability” between men and women, adding that that argument is not “a sexist stereotype" but instead “indisputable science".

In the aftermath, U.S. soccer came under heavy fire from critics, many of whom called the wording misogynistic, sexist and damaging.

A number of U.S. Soccer's sponsors, including Visa, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Deloitte, immediately distanced themselves from the "offensive" viewpoint of the USWNT.

And Cordeiro issued an apology during the USWNT's 3-1 win over Japan in Wednesday's SheBelieves Cup clash.

“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," Cordeiro said. "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.”

The USWNT protested that statements prior to Wednesday's match, wearing their warmup jackets inside out to hide the U.S. Soccer logo while displaying the stars representing their World Cup wins.

Rapinoe was among the players to voice their anger regarding U.S. Soccer's wording following Wednesday's win.

"We've sort of felt that those are some of the undercurrent feelings that they've had for a long time. But to see that as the argument, as blatant misogyny and sexism as the argument against us, is really disappointing," Rapinoe said.

"But I just want to say, it's all false. 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 just because you're a girl. You are not better just because you're a boy.

"We're all created equal and should all have the equal opportunity to go out and pursue our dreams, and for us that means playing on the soccer field. So, everything that was in that deposition, what they said in the argument is just not true. Don't ever believe that."

The USWNT will return to the field on April 10 for a match against Australia before facing Brazil four days later.