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Company Urges U.S. Soccer to Be “On the Right Side of History”

By Ken Reed

Proctor & Gamble is donating $529,000 — $23,000 for each of the 23 players on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) that recently won the World Cup. The donation was made to help close the pay gap between the women’s team and the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

“Let’s take this moment of celebration to propel women’s sports forward,” says the Proctor & Gamble brand Secret in a full-page ad in The New York Times. “We urge the US Soccer Federation to be a beacon of strength and end gender pay inequality once and for all.”

Before the World Cup, the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer claiming “institutionalized” discrimination. The suit addresses more than pay inequities. It also highlights unequal treatment in travel accommodations, marketing, pay for coaches and support for youth programs.

Proctor & Gamble’s donation to the USWNT, along with its strong statements about the importance of equal treatment for women, is an example of the power that corporations can wield in influencing socio-cultural issues.

“Inequality is about more than pay and players,” reads the Proctor & Gamble ad. “It’s about values.”

Indeed.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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