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Morning Briefing: Equal pay for U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t a secret to them

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. women’s soccer team lifts the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy following her team’s victory in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Final match between the United States of America and the Netherlands on Sunday in Lyon, France.
The U.S. women’s soccer team celebrates its World Cup victory.
(Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)

Procter & Gamble, which supports U.S. Soccer through its Secret deodorant brand, says it will donate $529,000 --- $23,000 for each of the 23 players on the U.S. team that won the Women’s World Cup --- to help close the pay gap between the women’s and men’s teams. The sponsor took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Sunday urging the U.S. Soccer Federation to “be on the right side of history.”

The ad begins, “23 is the number of players on one champion team: women’s or men’s.”

“23 pairs of chromosomes make up one winning athlete: female or male.”

“23 is a prime, whole number. It can never be divided. 23 is the number of strength.”

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It goes on to say, “But after all the toasts, cheers, parades and awards subside, the issue remains. Inequality is about more than pay and players, it’s about values. Let’s take this moment of celebration to propel women’s sports forward. We urge the U.S. Soccer Federation to be a beacon of strength and end gender pay inequality once and for all.”

In March, 28 members of the U.S. women’s national team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The suit claims the USSF pays the women less than members of the men’s national team.

According to the lawsuit, “The pay for advancement through the rounds of the World Cup was so skewed that, in 2014, the USSF provided the MNT with performance bonuses totaling $5,375,000 for losing in the Round of 16, while, in 2015, the USSF provided the WNT with only $1,725,000 for winning the entire tournament. The WNT earned more than three times less than the MNT while performing demonstrably better.”

Members of the U.S. women’s national team are set to earn roughly $250,000 each for winning the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

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Not him again

Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer is an elite pitcher who finished sixth in the Cy Young voting last season and has struck out 160 batters in 138 innings this season. But Minnesota’s Max Kepler has his number.

On June 6, Kepler homered in each of his three at-bats against Bauer in Minnesota’s 5-4 victory. He didn’t face Bauer again until Saturday. Kepler homered off him to lead off the game. Then he homered off him again in the second inning.

So, in five at-bats against Bauer, Kepler hit five homers.

“It’s unfathomable that it is happening in front of our eyes,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com after the game. “I was going to say that I don’t think any of us had seen anything like it. Come to find out, nobody has seen anything like it.”

Kepler is only the third player since 1961 to hit five straight homers off one pitcher, joining Carlos Delgado (off of Jorge Sosa in 2003-04) and Frank Howard (off of Bob Hendley in 1963-64).

“In situations like that, there’s nothing I’m going to really be able to do; he’s just locked in against me for whatever reason,” Bauer said. “Sometimes, guys are just hot and it doesn’t matter what you do to them, they’re going to hit it. And he’s hot off me right now. It won’t be that way forever.”

In fact, Kepler’s streak ended later that same game when he struck out against Bauer.

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Time to bench the guy.


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