US President Donald Trump has weighed in on the debate surrounding the gender pay gap in football as the Women's World Cup 2019 goes into the quarterfinal stage.
“I love watching women's soccer,” he told The Hill. “They’re really talented.”
However, the US President suggested he did not have enough knowledge of the details of the gender pay gap in the sport to take a position on the matter.
“I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics. I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in.”
“I know that when you have the great stars like [Portugal's Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars … that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people.”
“But I haven't taken a position on that at all. I'd have to look at it.”
Twitterati predictably were swift to respond:
We know Trump's handlers don't follow soccer, or there was no way they would have let him cite Cristiano Ronaldo (facing a rape lawsuit) as the most famous male player, while discussing the women's equal pay dispute.— Kevin Williams (@TribuneKevin) June 25, 2019
Some Twitter users were quick to recall the US President had referenced Ronaldo before:
He’s referenced Ronaldo before, he’s a fan of his... accept that Messi is inferior pic.twitter.com/xO8Tbpo92o— Daniel (@Dannn777) June 25, 2019
I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics,Trump said. I mean who draws more, where is money coming in. I know that when you have great stars like [Portugal’s Cristiano] Ronaldo+some of these stars … get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of 1000'S of people. https://t.co/bZmS7qX7pn— Gail Decker (@GGGGail) June 25, 2019
One of the few time I have to agree with Trump pic.twitter.com/8as7UQEMJB— FOOTBALL BLUSTER (@footballbluster) June 25, 2019
"I know that when you have the great stars like Ronaldo and some of these stars, my son loves soccer and you know, some of the Messi."— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 25, 2019
Some. Of. The. Messi.https://t.co/jRnaQLi1WM
In March, 28 members of the US women's national team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer, citing gaps in pay and resources.
The suit is being led by current stars Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn.
On Friday, US Soccer confirmed that it has tentatively agreed to pursue mediation with the 28 US women’s national team players who filed a pay discrimination lawsuit. The mediation is set to take place after the World Cup ends.
The US Women’s soccer team will now face tournament hosts France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup after beating Spain 2-1 in the last 16 matches of the competition on Monday thanks to two penalties by Rapinoe.
The USWNT won all three of their group-stage matches.