Fox News host Jesse Watters believes the U.S. women’s soccer team is doing little to help the case for equal pay with their “unpatriotic” behavior.
Watters spoke on the issue of equal pay for women, a cause advocated by the U.S. Women’s National Team, during a segment on Fox News’ “The Five” Monday as his co-hosts discussed the return of the World Cup champions to the U.S. following their 2-0 victory over the Netherlands.
(Video: Fox News)
Arguing that the women’s team is alienating some fans and American viewers by “disparaging” President Donald Trump, Watters noted that diminished advertising revenue would then affect the overall profits that need to be doled out.
The team filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation earlier this year in response to what they have argued is gender discrimination, with outspoken team captain Megan Rapinoe regularly condemning the alleged unfair pay difference.
During the championship game on Sunday, the crowd broke into a chant of “Equal Pay!”
— Mina Park (@minapark) July 7, 2019
Asked by reporters for his thoughts on whether the men and women World Cup soccer teams should be receiving equal pay, Trump said he would have to “look at numbers.”
Per pool, Trump was asked if he believes women and men in soccer should be paid the same. “I would like to see that, but you’ve also got to look at numbers… you have to look at who’s taking in what”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 7, 2019
“To do that you also have to look at numbers because when you look at World Cup soccer, that’s one thing…you have to see who’s taking in what, so I don’t know what those numbers are, I would like to see that,” he told reporters Sunday. “But again, you have to look at the great stars of the men’s soccer, the great stars of the women’s soccer, and you have to see year round how are they all drawing…I would like to see it.”
Watters agreed with the president.
“The president does have a point,” the Fox News host said.
“If you look at the World Cup men’s revenue, which is in the billions, and they split up the pot – it is a much bigger pot. The women’s World Cup revenue is a much smaller pot to divide up,” Watters explained.
“But the distinction is, at the U.S. Soccer Federation, the women do actually make more revenue and they get paid less and that’s their lawyers’ fault. They negotiated a horrible deal and they need to renegotiate that immediately,” he added.
“But the point is that women are not helping their case by their behavior,” Watters argued.
“If you go out and you disparage the president and you act in unpatriotic ways and then complain about not getting paid equally, well, what do you think is gonna happen?” he asked rhetorically. “People will not watch.”
Watters noted that he spoke to “many, many people” over the weekend who “love soccer,” but said they were not going to watch the women’s final because they “didn’t like what they said.”
“That means the ad revenue comes down and that means their overall revenue comes down and they can’t divvy up the same amount of money,” he said.
Rapinoe, meanwhile, has also been at the center of a controversial clash with Trump over her comment in an interview saying she was “not going to the f—— White House” if the team was invited following a win.
Trump puts disrespectful kneeling US soccer star in her place for saying ‘I’m not going to the f—ing White House’ https://t.co/y7psfMungY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2019
The soccer team’s star forward ignited a backlash after taking a knee during the national anthem, prompting a rebuke from the president. But the politics were set aside after the team’s victory Sunday as Trump gave a hearty congratulations for their “exciting” game.
Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
While Rapinoe and her teammates are busy bashing Trump and any potential visit to the White House, an invitation from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to tour the House was immediately accepted. On Monday, she said the team would be “very happy to accept” an invitation from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to come to Capitol Hill.
The Democrat leader invited the team to the Senate to celebrate their World Cup win during remarks on the Senate floor on Monday, as he also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring equal pay legislation up for a vote.
What the #USWNT did was extraordinary, and they deserve to be compensated fairly.
All women need to be compensated fairly. Period.
And we ought to pay attention to this not just once every four years during the World Cup, but year-in and year-out. pic.twitter.com/gtWgiHS2PH
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 8, 2019
“That’s great. I love that,” Rapinoe responded.
(Video: Fox News)
“Interested to see what McConnell does. Thank you, Chuck Schumer, for inviting us out. We are very happy to accept your invitation to come.”
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