#soccer

Nike kicks July 4 kicks on Kaep’s call

Apparently Colin Kaepernick said that Nike’s limited edition 4th of July Betsy Ross flag sneakers could be perceived as harking back to the slavery era. Betsy Ross was credited with making the first American flag in 1790.

Nike has pulled the shoes from stores citing some spurious claims that white nationalists use the Betsy Ross flag.

Good to see Arizona Governor Doug Ducey rescind the incentive dollars offered to Nike to open the plant just outside Phoenix. Ducey said,

Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision…Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

Maybe Nike should make a BLM edition sneaker? Better still they can make Colin Kaepernick branded kneepads to help kneelers such as Megan Rapinoe protest the very country she represents.

Gender pay gap in US soccer?

US Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand railed at the gender pay gap between the US Soccer men’s team and women’s team after the latter thrashed Thailand 13-0.

Democratic Senator and perennial identity politician Elizabeth Warren also chipped in with her slant on things about how it is high time to address the pay gap!

Former Republican Senator Orrin Hatch asked the U.S. Soccer Federation to “end this two-tiered, gender-based structure that has unfairly discriminated against female athletes.”

Before US senators took to bashing the US Soccer Federation (USSF), a quick look at the Annual Report for 2018 reveals that “expenses” on the national women’s team were higher than the men’s.

By the numbers, women’s expenditure grew 25% to $17.13m in 2018 over the previous year while the men’s slid 35% to $14.63m (down from $22.43m in 2017). While expenditures aren’t completely broken down, one can assume that this adjustment includes paying for performance.

When boiled down, the expenses allocated to the women’s national team came in at 24% of overall expenses in 2018 from 18% in 2017. Men fell from 30% of the total to 20% over the same time period.

Unless multiple men’s team players have been sacked and there are surplus female players the pay gap is probably swinging in favour of the fairer sex. Or could it be that the governing body is exercising good governance?

Whatever it is, even better to see the investment in the youth national team and player development which has risen from $23.2m to $27.4m.

If only female soccer star Megan Rapinoe could casts aside her Trump Derangement Syndrome and sing the national anthem because she’s representing her country.

Not surprising to see own goals kicked by politicians who don’t look at the facts.

Perhaps the US women’s soccer team should address the pay gap between themselves first. Then once that is complete go after the blokes.

Italy misses 2018 World Cup qualifiers

It is quite a big surprise to see Italy not qualify for the World Cup soccer in 2018. While always entertaining, sometimes teams overestimate their ability to be guaranteed a berth. Being 4-time World Cup winners  should mean it is a formality but great to see that the level rises to stop competitions being dominated by a select few. Think of the Japanese Blossoms beating the Sth African Springboks back in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Be complacent at your peril.