Vox Makes Terrible Case For Women's Soccer

Sigh. Another women's World Cup tournament, another flood of 'why come we're not paid like men?' articles gracing the pages of liberal media outlets from The Washington Post to Vox.

And like usual, the articles are emotionally driven, use cherry picked data and ask readers to suspend belief of reality.

Either these adults lack critical thinking skills or are just plain ideologues who believe if you repeat something enough, people will believe the lie.

As a soccer fan, this Tweet from Vox - the place where NBC fav $200 million to and then went on a tantrum led Carlos Maza to censor content they disagreed with - caught my eye:

"The #USWNT just scored 13 goals in their World Cup opening game against Thailand — that's more than the men's team scored in the last three World Cups combined. Why are they still fighting for equal pay?"

Where to begin?

There are several ways to tackle and refute this assertion.

Let's start with this being a false equivalence as well as committing another logical fallacy called cherry picking data. 

Using one game where the team scored 13 goals against a Thai team that probably wouldn't even qualify at a men's Pee-Wee tournament (no disrespect but more about respect in a moment) and then comparing it to the last three World Cups contended by the men is arbitrary and rather insulting to be frank.

So let's break down the UMNT in the last three WC to further highlight the fallacies:

At the 2006 World Cup, the men's team crashed out in last place behind Italy (who went on to win the group and tournament), the always tough Czech Republic and highly regarded Ghana sides. My recollection is they played fairly well as they scored two goals in three games.

In 2010, the USA scored 3 goals while not losing a game compiling a 1-2-0 to win the group that included rival England and a very difficult Slovenia side. They lost 2-1 to Ghana in the R16 - who around that period were among the best sides in Africa. Ghana then lost to a very strong Uruguay team in shoot outs. See how tight the competition is? 4 goals in total were scored.

In 2014, they scored 4 goals. They were grouped with (eventual champions Germany who later hammered Brazil 7-1), Portugal (a favourite) and Ghana. They finished 2nd. Impressive outcome given the quality of teams in the group. Once again, they bowed out in the R16. This time to Belgium (a program that was growing into a power house) 2-1 in added extra time. Five goals in total in this tourney.

They didn't qualify for 2018. But guess what? Neither did perennial super-powers Italy and Holland! 

Remember the part of cherry picking? In 2002 (that scandalous World Cup), the USA finished 8th having reached the quarter-finals after beating Mexico in the R16 2-0. They lost to Germany 1-0. 

Seven goals in total were scored. 

So. Let's recap. 11 goals in the three tournaments selected against two of the mightiest soccer teams in history: Germany and Italy. Against two teams who went on to become among the elite and World Cup favourites in Portugal (who won a Euro) and Belgium (semi-finalists and 3rd place in 2018). African champs and highly touted Ghana. As well as respected and highly ranked Czech side. 

I must have missed the part where the USWNT had to face such towering and difficult opponents. 

The women do dominate women's soccer, but to then turn around and claim on this basis they're equal to the men because they don't win is not a reason and in fact should be refuted.

Over the last 20 years, the American men's side has been a solid program and consistently well ranked. Did they come up short relative to expectations? Perhaps. But in fairness, they're up against far greater odds and stiffer competition. In this way, the Tweet is way out of line and completely uncalled for.

As an aside, American soccer lacks a crucial element for success: A true midfield play. Spirit alone won't get you a title. It's even less evident in women's soccer as a whole. It's only been a few years where we actually see a fluid and functional style of play we see in the men's game - minus the speed, precision and power. 

In any event, the cold hard reality is women's soccer - while having taken great strides - is nowhere near on the level of quality of play (including tactics and skill) as the men. 

You just don't see 13-0 blowouts in a 32 field tournament on the men's side where the top 30 teams can beat anyone at any time. 

You just don't. The only time you see a blow out it's when a power beats a minnow like San Marino, Liechtenstein or Andorra and even then they tend to stay in the 6 or 8-0 range. 


The unfortunate part of all this is it actually demeans the women's game. 

For a couple of reasons. Incessantly comparing themselves to the men is futile. Focus on what you need to do. Get women to go to the games and but merchandising. 

The men's game pulls in billions. The women tens of millions. There's a huge revenue gap and that's a result of simple economics.

That the U.S. women's dominate their game doesn't equate to them deserving to get more money based on shallow metrics like goal scored. 

It's based on old fashioned supply and demand and revenues. Men's World Cup soccer is the biggest event in the world. It dwarfs the women's game so obviously the men get paid more. However, the little quirk in the crinkle here is that the women actually get a higher percentage of their pie than the men do (something like 13% to 9% despite the men driving home more money). 

All this battle of the sexes doesn’t allow us to appreciate women’s sports for what they are. 

It also leaves them open to being reminded women's national teams routinely lose to U-15 male squads as we saw with Australia and the USA. Once again painfully highlighting how far off the quality scale they are. Women simply don't face the strength and quality the men do. 

Case in point:

You can't say for certain until the same amount of research, time, and development into the women's body and athletics is done as was provided to the men.WoSo was banned for fifty years in Europe. You cannot ignore that, nor the lack of a professional league for years…— Gwyn Erso (@gwynniepeg) June 11, 2019
"Nope. You can’t say that for certain, especially not as the majority of difference in size, until the same resources, research and attention is afforded the women.
A Messi sized woman could, potentially, match Messi in all soccer related aspects. The best men’s players aren’t-”
A woman player would have to match his speed, strength and stamina. Not to mention the physical abuse. He plays in one of the top leagues in the world for a top club. Not likely to ever happen in our lifetime. That Alex Morgan scored five against Thailand automatically puts her on the same footing as Messi is preposterous. It's nearly impossible to average 1 goal a game output in world's men soccer  and going above it doesn't happen very often.

You can indeed say for certain and it will always be the case. The banning has no bearing on physiology and biology. This falls dangerously close to the anti-science logic of gender fluidity and multiple genders.

Last and above all, there's the issue of sportsmanship. Even if the U.S. men's team was in a position to score 10 or more, it's not likely a coach would allow it. Blowing your opponent out and celebrating every goal is not honourable. When it's clear you're belittling you opponent by the 5th goal, don't celebrate as if you won a trophy for every goal after that. The optics are terrible.

I played at a high level. I remember coaches always calling the dogs off when sensing a blow out. 

So before bitching about money, get the sportsmanship part in order first.

Talk about arrogance on the part of Vox and advocates of women's soccer to denigrate the men in this way. 


Bad sports editing on major networks from Mad Dog to CBS. 

I kept hearing all day about how the Raptors victory over the Warriors was the first title for Canada since 1993. The year the Blue Jays and the Montreal Canadiens won in their respective sports. 

However, it's not accurate. Canadian teams have won in professional soccer.

Specifically, Toronto FC winning an MLS title in 2018.

MLS is a pretty big deal.

As for all this asterisk talk. Dumb. Of course there shouldn't be an asterisk. Sports is littered with teams not being at 100% in a final. 

However, there's definitely truth in the fact with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson playing, the chances for the Raptors winning diminishes significantly. We're talking about arguably the best player in basketball and an outstanding future Hall of Famer. If both healthy, the Warriors probably win.

That's to take nothing away from the Raptors who were well prepared, determined, calm healthy, and very good. They're deserved champions.

You beat who's out there. It's a little like the criticism Rocky Marciano faces whenever his legacy comes up. It wasn't his fault the field was somewhat barren (though not really) and it wasn't Toronto's problem or fault the Warriors suffered such unfortunate injuries to two supremely key all-time great players. 

It's a pretty big deal for a Canadian team to win an NBA title particularly given the great strides made in Canadian basketball in the last few years. As for their fans, they strike me as a fairweatherish. Well, the posh ones I saw on TV anyway. I highly doubt some of those are die hard fans. But kudos to the franchise for making all the right moves and building that team up in th city.

Too bad the long video review at the end robbed fans of a natural, explosive jubilation. 


Just a bonus on Vox:

Smug, uncurious and ignorant is not a way to go through life let alone run a publication.

To think this rag has the Twitter 'Blue check' mark and has standing with YouTube and NBC. It's a nutty world that needs rewiring. 

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