When you open the door to a new world, make sure you greet the newcomers that walk in.
Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan are three of the biggest names in women’s soccer, so it’s not surprising to see the U.S. Soccer legends supporting the women of Canada soccer.
The Canada National Team shook the football world when they threatened to strike and skip out on the SheBelieves Cup tournament. Canada Soccer Association threatened the players with legal action that could result in a million dollar liability case against the players. According to the players, their fight “goes beyond financials” and is more so for better investment in the women’s brand.
“We’re with them 100 percent and obviously know exactly what they’re going through, how difficult it is to do all that off the field and have to perform,” Mean Rapinoe said Wednesday, just 24 hours before the U.S. take on their border rivals in the first match of the SheBelieves Cup.
“I think you should plan on seeing some things for the game tomorrow,” Sauerbrunn told ESPN. “Whether it be statements or on-field protests, I think there will be stuff that we are organizing and we are in full support of them.”
The USWNT is no stranger to this situation; changing the landscape of women’s sports with their equal pay victory against the U.S. Soccer Federation. Like Canada, the USWNT was looking for better investment after becoming the most dominant brand in global football.
And some could argue that Canada has not achieved as much as the USWNT in their 40-year history, but who has? Canada has been a strong brand in women’s soccer, winning the Olympics in 2020 and is represented by one of the greatest soccer players ever, Christine Sinclair.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s tense,” Sinclair said. “I’ve been on this team for a very long time and it has been a constant battle with the CSA to try and put forth progressive CBAs. The problems that we are facing right now as men’s and women’s [teams], something has to change.”
Canada Men’s team is in full support of the women.
Rapinoe mentioned she is surprised the CSA is treating the reigning Olympic champions in such a way, but we also saw the U.S. Soccer Federation battle with the USWNT after winning back-to-back World Cups. Labor disputes in women sports, until recent times, was rarely discussed in the media until the USWNT threatened to sit out the pivotal 1996 Olympics. Since then, the USWNT has pushed the bar until they found the winning formula for women in CBA disputes.
“It’s all the same thing to me, whether it’s England winning Euros in the fashion that they did, or the WNBA and their new CBA, or the hockey team, or our team, the NWSL, Canada now,” Rapinoe said. “We’re all on the same team off the field, so it all feels like a snowball effect. I realize our team is one of the first to do it, one of the loudest to do it, and one of the most successful to do it on and off the field. I think we take a lot of pride in that.”
Fans will look on with interest when the two teams take the field tonight to see what show of support the USWNT will have for Canada’s players.