U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Files Wage-Discrimination Action Asking For Equal Pay
Sports| | By Margo Gothelf
The United States women’s soccer team is striking back and hoping to score a goal with their fight for equality.
Several members of the reigning World Cup-winning team spoke out on Thursday, addressing the pay disparity of the women’s soccer team through an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Rebecca Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, and Alex Morgan spoke to the Today show (see below), about their decision to take a stand.
“We believe now the time is right because we believe it’s a responsibility for women’s sports, specifically women’s soccer, to really do whatever it takes for equal pay and equal rights and to be treated with respect,” said Solo.
Lloyd pointed out that even after the USWNT won several of the sport’s top honors, the pay gap stayed the same.
“I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years. Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large,” Lloyd explained. “And we want to continue to fight.”
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) March 31, 2016
The U.S Soccer Federation released a statement regarding the pay gap issue shortly after the complaint was filed, explaining they were “disappointed” that the action was taken.
“We’ve been a world leader in women’s soccer and are proud of the commitment we’ve made to building the women’s game in the United States over the past 30 years,” it said in the statement.
US Soccer statement on US women's players action alleging wage discrimination vs US men's players pic.twitter.com/DAJLwV7UVu
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 31, 2016
Shortly after a second statement was released, explaining “it is ‘committed to and engaged’ in negotiating a new CBA ‘that addresses compensation with the U.S. women’s national team when the current CBA expires at the end of this year,'” shared ESPN.
Several of the men spoke out, supporting the woman and their decision to take action regarding the pay dispute.
“We support the fact that the women should fight for their rights and fight for what they think is just compensation,” Tim Howard, the men’s national team goalie, shared with SportsCenter. “We, on the men’s side, have been fighting that battle for a long, long time. We certainly know what it feels like. We felt underpaid for a long time. We had to negotiate our way to a settlement.”
#USWNT absolutely deserve to be treated fairly in all ways. Important to remember that these issues are/can be collectively bargained
— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) March 31, 2016
Hillary Clinton even got in on the action.
Wouldn’t want to face these women on the field or in the courtroom. Every woman deserves equal pay. https://t.co/RBuAFtgpDS
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 31, 2016
The USWNT has grown tremendously in the past decade. They are the current World Cup champions and have won the gold medal at the past three Summer Olympic Games. The three-time World Cup champions have broken records for American soccer games, with as many as 26.7 million people tuning in to watch them beat Japan last summer. The women’s team generated about $20 million more in revenue than the U.S. men’s team in the past year alone. Currently, the women are paid about a quarter of what the men are paid.
“Every single day, we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much,” Morgan told Today. “We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of last summer. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.
Check out the interview with the players below.