Nike’s new Never Stop Winning advertisement, released on Sunday following the US Women’s National Team’s 2019 World Cup victory over the Netherlands, is a strong statement for women’s empowerment in sports.
With a mention of players like Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher and Tobin Heath, Nike’s ad celebrates the team that has won the world cup for the fourth time. Yet – as the ad highlights – players of the US Women’s National Team are still fighting to earn as much as the Men’s National Team, which has come nowhere near winning a World Cup title.
As a matter of fact, months before the World Cup, in March, 28 members of the US women’s team sued the US Soccer Federation for gender discrimination.
Set to the popular sports chant, “I believe that we will win”, the black-and-white 60-second commercial juxtaposes images of members of the US Women’s National Team, young girls and signs demanding equal rights.
“[I believe] that women will conquer more than just the soccer field, like breaking every single glass ceiling,” says a voice in the background.
The ad continues: “I believe that we will be four-time champions and keep winning until we become not only the best female soccer team, but the best soccer team in the world and that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play, and say things like, ‘I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up,’ and that they’ll be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves.”
A former University of Portland star, Rapinoe won the Golden Boot in the World Cup with six goals and three assists. But sh wasn’t in the news simply because of her excellent performance. The footballer’s statement that she was “not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it,” was not taken very well by the US President.
In a series of tweets, Donald Trump said, “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”
Trump has also criticised Rapinoe for being one of the first persons in 2016 to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback did the same thing to protest against discrimination towards non-white people in the USA.