sports-desk

Senators mount pressure on equal pay for World Cup champs
More lawmakers introduce measures pushing equal pay for U.S. women's soccer team

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are leading an effort in the Senate to make salaries for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams equitable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the U.S. soccer women’s team embarks on a whirlwind victory lap from its recent World Cup domination, more lawmakers are joining the four-time champions in calling for pay equity.

A group of senators led by Robert Menendez, Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution congratulating the team for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and asking U.S. Soccer to provide the players with pay comparable to their counterparts on the men’s team.

Joe Manchin wants to block funding 2026 World Cup until women’s team gets equal pay
Competition to be hosted in North America would require federal support

Sen. Joe Manchin III wants to block funding for the 2026 World Cup until women athletes get equal pay. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate appropriator wants to block spending of federal money to support the 2026 men’s World Cup until the U.S. women’s team receives equal pay.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III unveiled the two-page bill Tuesday afternoon that would block the use of funds to support the 2026 World Cup matches, which are scheduled to be shared among Canada, Mexico and the United States as part of a joint bid.

Can I kick it: Congress joins U.S. Soccer equal pay fight

(Photo Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team marches towards the 2019 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday, the battle over equal pay rages on. Now the women, who make about 38 percent of what players on the men’s team do, have members of Congress calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to make changes.

The House Democratic Women’s Caucus wants U.S. Soccer to come up with a plan to “address institutionalized gender discrimination” and send them official documents detailing the salary, bonuses and prize money for the women’s and men’s national teams.

Durbin and Duckworth want Major League Baseball to extend foul ball netting at all parks
Following announcements from Nationals and White Sox, Illinois senators press Manfred

Nationals Park, the venue for Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game, will be getting extended netting over the All-Star break. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Tammy Duckworth want Major League Baseball to expand netting to protect fans from foul balls across the entirety of the major leagues.

The Illinois senators have written to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred seeking an extension of netting at all ballparks. The letter, dated Thursday, follows announcements of extended netting by the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals.

These members can play baseball, but do you want them on your trivia team?
Heard on the Hill

Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman rolls over on his head as he field a ground ball during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

As the lights came up at the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, members of the Democratic and Republican teams took the field. Despite both teams’ months of practice, didn’t any of them think they’d need to brush up on their trivia?

Democratic domination continues in Congressional Baseball Game
Lawmakers take a break from border funding, debate buzz to compete on the field

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado collides with Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois at home plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Perlmutter scored on the play. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Ask any dad and he will tell you: Defense wins championships. But when Republicans ask themselves what went wrong Wednesday night, they might point to a sloppy defensive effort that resulted in four errors and their third straight loss to the Democrats.

The 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game was the Democrats’ eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP Cedric Richmond and solid hitting from the lineup.

Diamonds are Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán’s best friend
Female lawmakers take the baseball field following Title IX anniversary

Rep. Linda Sánchez, here in 2015, is one of two women who will play in the Congressional Baseball Game this year. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Even though Reps. Linda Sánchez and Nanette Barragán will be the lone female lawmakers at Nationals Park, surrounded by more than 70 male colleagues and coaches, the only thing that might give it away is their ponytails. Sporting cleats, batting helmets and their favorite jerseys, they’re just some of the guys.

“They treat us like equals. They make us work just as hard,” Barragán told me of her male teammates after one of their last practices before Wednesday night’s Congressional Baseball Game.

Sinclair’s purchase of regional sports networks draws ire of Booker, Sanders and Warren
Three Democratic presidential hopefuls cite the broadcast group’s power in local TV

Three 2020 presidential candidates are asking  Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, about the acquisition of 21 regional sports networks by Sinclair. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have gotten together to criticize the acquisition of 21 regional sports networks by Sinclair Broadcast Group, asking what the FCC and the Justice Department might be doing about it.

The sports channels, which televise major professional and college sports to regional audiences, came up for sale as a condition of the Disney acquisition of what had been Fox assets. 

Meet some of the former pros who’ve played in the Congressional Baseball Game
Bunning, Largent, Ryun and Shuler all had varying degrees of success on the diamond

Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent is greeted by his Republican teammates before the 2000 Congressional Baseball Game. Largent led the Republicans to victory in five of his seven games. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Colin Allred and Anthony Gonzalez won’t be the first former professional athletes to compete in the Congressional Baseball Game. Over the decades, Republicans and Democrats have looked to other ex-pros turned congressmen and their athletic talents in hopes of scoring on the diamond.

The late Sen. Jim Bunning is the only baseball Hall of Famer to come to Washington. Over a 17-season pitching career from 1955 to 1971, the Kentucky Republican won 224 games and had an earned run average of 3.27. Bunning won election to the House in 1986 and made his Congressional Baseball Game debut the following year. He was part of the winning GOP team at least three times as either pitcher or pitching coach. After two terms in the Senate, Bunning opted against re-election in 2010. He died in 2017 at age 85.

For Colin Allred, Major League dreams are close to coming true
NFL veteran returns to his first sporting love at the Congressional Baseball Game

Colin Allred earned first-team all-district honors his sophomore and junior seasons at Hillcrest High School in Dallas. (Courtesy Office of Rep. Colin Allred)

As a kid, Rep. Colin Allred dreamed of playing baseball on a Major League field. The Texas Democrat will get that chance Wednesday night at the Congressional Baseball Game, and he could add significant heft to an already loaded Democratic squad.

It hasn’t been a typical path for Allred — college football, the National Football League, law school, a job in the Obama’s administration, and getting elected to Congress to represent the Dallas-area 32nd District.