The president of United States Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, announced his resignation from the Federation on Thursday.
The decision came amid the on-going gender discrimination lawsuit filed by players on the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The lawsuit had much to do with Cordeiro’s resignation, especially after court filings showed that the USSF’s defense included sexist language calling the women’s players less skilled with less responsibility than their male counterparts.
In response, the four-time World Cup Champions donned their warmup jerseys inside-out before defeating Japan for the SheBelieves Cup title Wednesday night, hiding the U.S. Soccer logo to make a statement.
Sponsors were quick to stand by the USWNT as well, with advertisers including Coke, Visa, Budweiser and Volkswagon publicly condemning the USSF for its comments.
With sponsors upset and some good old public outrage, the USSF issued an apology for offending its talented star athletes and even changed their legal representation.
It looks like they knew it wouldn’t be enough, however, with Cordeiro announcing his resignation one day later.
“My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation, and it has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction,” Cordeiro said in his statement, per Sports Illustrated.
“The arguments and language contained in this week’s legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women’s National Team players who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable. I did not have the opportunity to fully review the filing in its entirety before it was submitted, and I take responsibility for not doing so. Had I done so, I would have objected to language that did not reflect my personal admiration for our women’s players or our values as an organization.
“I will always treasure the many weeks that I spent with out Women’s National Team players during the World Cup in France, and I’m thankful for their friendship. As U.S. Soccer moves ahead with its defense against the lawsuit by the team, I hope that our remarkable women’s players are always treated with the dignity, respect and admiration they truly deserve.”
With Cordeiro out after serving the USSF for the past 13 years, Cindy Parlow Cone, USSF vice president and former USWNT player, now will serve as president.
After the resignation, Molly Levinson, spokesperson for the USWNT players in the equal pay lawsuit made a statement, via Meg Linehan of the Athletic.
“While it is gratifying that there has been such a deafening outcry against USSF’s blatant misogyny, the sexist culture and policies overseen by Carlos Cordeiro have been approved for years by the board of directors of USSF,” Levinson said. “This institution much change and support and pay women players equally.”
Now that USSF sponsors, in addition to fans, are speaking out in defense of the USWNT, maybe we’ll see some real change.
Thumbnail photo via Richard Martin/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports Images