Equal pay is a major issue across the sporting world.
Female tennis players have needed years of pressure and hard work to reach the stage where they earn the same as men at grand slams like Wimbledon, but football is some way behind.
Investment in the men’s game has been significantly higher across much of the world, and wages and bonuses in the women’s game are rarely (if ever) sufficient to allow even the biggest names to retire altogether when their playing careers come to an end.
Some of this can be traced back to the relative youth of women’s elite competitions, but the United States potentially ought to be the exception – the sport has a rich history as a game predominantly played by women and girls, and the US have won the Women’s World Cup a record three times.
But the players, including some of the reigning world champions, have gone as far as taking legal action in the pursuit of pay comparable to their counterparts in the US men’s team. And one of America’s most famous male players has chipped in on the debate.
Landon Donovan won more than 150 caps for the US before calling time on his international career in 2014, and he has been discussing the thorny issue with fans on social media.
#USWNT absolutely deserve to be treated fairly in all ways. Important to remember that these issues are/can be collectively bargained
— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) March 31, 2016
He was receiving positive feedback from a number of fans, but then this happened.
The tide turned pretty quickly.
Someone take Landon Donovan's phone from him? Friends don't let friends indulge in pretzel logic on Twitter
— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) March 31, 2016
Donovan is still going.
— Kirsten Schlewitz (@kdschlewitz) March 31, 2016
RIP my respect for Landon Donovan
— meghan patrice (@meghanpatrice) March 31, 2016
Landon Donovan: most popular soccer player in US to least popular soccer player in the span of one tweet. #RecordBreaking
— Nick Tremaroli (@NickTrem_17) March 31, 2016
So, Landon Donovan is the Novak Djokovic of soccer. What pair of assholes those two. #EqualPlayEqualPay
— Jules (@julypena) March 31, 2016