Players on the US Women's National Soccer Team have a new ally in their fight for equal pay: Procter & Gamble. The multinational corporation, also a team sponsor, placed a full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times pressing the governing body of US soccer "to be on the right side of history." The ad continued, "Inequality is about more than pay and players. It's about values." The maker of Secret deodorant also donated $529,000 to the team's players association, a symbolic amount that comes to $23,000 for each of the team's 23 players who took part in (and won) the World Cup. Procter & Gamble is the first team sponsor to issue such a bold statement, but others have revealed their sympathies.
In May, Visa announced a new affiliation with the US Soccer Federation that includes giving "at least 50%" of its investment to the women's team and related programs, Forbes reported at the time. And the producer of the nutrition bar Luna Bar has vowed to give each of the female US World Cup players an extra $31,250 to make up for the difference in bonuses to the men's team. On Sunday, team co-captain Megan Rapinoe argued for greater corporate support on Meet the Press: These "powerful corporations ... have so much weight that they can throw around," she said. "And I think that they just need to get comfortable with throwing it around." (The battle for equal pay has led to new state legislation and proposed federal legislation.)