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31st Mar 2016

Landon Donovan receives blowback after wading into the women’s football pay row

Landon himself in trouble

Tom Victor

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.

Los Angeles Galaxy v Seattle Sounders - Western Conference Final - Leg 2

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.

He was receiving positive feedback from a number of fans, but then this happened.



The tide turned pretty quickly.

At least some were willing to have some fun with the situation.