Home / Crimes Against Women / USWNT Sues U.S. Soccer For Equal Pay
FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 10:  Crystal Dunn #16 of USA celebrates her goal with Ali Krieger #11, Carli Lloyd #10 and Alex Morgan #13 against Costa Rica during 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at Toyota Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 10: Crystal Dunn #16 of USA celebrates her goal with Ali Krieger #11, Carli Lloyd #10 and Alex Morgan #13 against Costa Rica during 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at Toyota Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

USWNT Sues U.S. Soccer For Equal Pay

Women’s Team earned significantly less than the male players last year

Five of the biggest names on the team listed on the lawsuit 

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2016, file photo, United States goalie Hope Solo walks off the field at half time of a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament soccer match against Mexico in Frisco, Texas. The U.S. women’s national soccer team held meetings while in Texas recently for its Olympic qualifying tournament to discuss the Zika virus with doctors. “All I can do is speak for myself. If the Olympics were today, I would not go,” Solo reiterated during the tournament. “Fortunately, the Olympics are six months away. So, I believe we have some time to get our doubts and questions answered. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2016, file photo, United States goalie Hope Solo walks off the field at half time. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo, five of the biggest names on the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) and reigning 2015 World Cup champions, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Wednesday, demanding equal pay for equal work and calling for an official investigation of what they believe to be the Federation’s discriminatory wage practices.

The complaint from the five superstars, coming less than nine months after the team hoisted up the gold trophy at the 2015 World Cup, emphasizes they were taking action on behalf of the entire national team.

Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much,” standout forward Morgan explained on NBC’s “Today” Thursday morning. “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.”

According to espnW, the discrepancy in earnings is astonishing; if women win each of the minimum 20 friendlies they are required to play annually to be eligible for the World Cup and the men lose the same number of matches, the men’s side still earns more than the women’s team, with men getting at least an additional $5,000 for each contest they play over that baseline. The women receive no additional pay for additional games played.

“I’ve been on this team for a decade and a half, and I’ve been through numerous CBA negotiations, and honestly, not much has changed,” Solo said. “We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to play professional soccer, to get paid for doing it.

“In this day and age, it’s about equality. It’s about equal rights. It’s about equal pay. We’re pushing for that. We believe now the time is right because we believe it’s our responsibility for women’s sports and specifically for women’s soccer to do whatever it takes to push for equal pay and equal rights. And to be treated with respect.”

CREDIT: CAROLYN KASTER, AP
CREDIT: CAROLYN KASTER, AP

Perhaps the most grotesque double standard came in the performance earnings from each of their respective finishes in the World Cup.

While the men pocketed $9 million after reaching the round of 16 in their 2014 World Cup before losing to Belgium, the women pulled in just $2 million for marching all the way to the winner’s podium.

The U.S. Soccer Federation’s response was swift, albeit deliberately ambiguous:

“While we’ve not seen this complaint and can’t comment on the specifics of it, we’re disappointed about this action,” the U.S. Soccer Federation stated in response to the filing. “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.”

For the USWNT, it would seem the complaint isn’t merely about money but about the message attached. As the women broke record after record last summer, as they captivated audiences around the world, after being told by POTUS that they are “badass,” they are still, predictably so, treated and compensated as lesser-than their male counterparts.

“The numbers speak for themselves. We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships,” said Solo “and the men get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

About Adam Ciminello

Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and the idea of Bono never performing again are all things that excite me. And yes, my grandma is cooler than yours. Say hi sometime on twitter @Aciminello

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