Journey from Inequality to #MeToo

Just over a week ago, Spanish footballers made history by winning the World Cup in Australia, an event that has become a phenomenon in spectators, match attendance, advertising investment and sponsorship. A universal giant step towards equality in sports. And like the entire World Cup, that golden minute, that “world is looking at us”, which gives rise to revolutions. The North American team Megan Rapinoe then took advantage of her triumph at the World Championships to not publicly declare that she was demanding equal pay with the men’s teams, which, by the way, also did not open their mouths much in that fight. The Australian team that hosted the 2023 FIFA World Cup used a loudspeaker to demand public investment in training and reduced inequality and managed to get its government to commit to $200 million in women’s football, while AFLW, its sports league , it would also close the gender gap in economic prizes, which would have been four times higher if the tournament’s winning team had been male.

What did the Spaniards do? They mostly thanked families and fans, were encouraged by the social reaction to the phenomenon, popular support and hoped that this would mark a change of era and that women’s sport would finally be respected from schoolyards. They did not demand obligatory respect from the foundations of the sports institution, no, but there was no need for this: the shameful behavior of the president of the federation, Luis Rubiales, in the same box, and then on the podium, but in every explanation, gestures and answers fanned the flames of the revolution “it’s all over,” which was seething. It’s not just about inequality.

Similar revolutions are taking place all over the planet. In New Delhi, athletes have been denouncing abuses within the federation by its president and other senior officials for years. In these weeks, they started their #MeToo protesting public opinion to spread their displeasure and go camping. They were dispersed by the police, and the president of his federation not only denies the facts, but also claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy, and clings to his position. This federation is currently suspended and in September the Indian athletes, men and women, who will compete for Olympic qualification will do so as “neutral” athletes. The #MeToo fuse has already been lit in sports.

** Journalist

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