Women’s National Soccer suing for discrimination

March 15, 2019

There are three months left until the kickoff of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. One of the most watched events in sports, all eyes are on the United States Women’s National Soccer team right now, as they filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Friday, March 8 for gender discrimination.

We have seen many female athletes advocate for equal pay before but nothing quite as powerful as this. This group of women are some of the most well-known female athletes around the world, and it is not because they are easy to market due to their looks: It is because they just win. These women are the best at what they do, period. Their pay, treatment and working conditions, however, do not add up with their success, nor are they equal to their male counterparts. According to ESPN, “A comparison of the WNT and MNT pay shows that if each team played 20 friendlies in a year and each team won all 20 friendlies, female WNT players would earn a maximum of $99,000 or $4,950 per game, while similarly situated male MNT players would earn an average of $263,320 or $13,166 per game against the various levels of competition they would face,” the lawsuit says.​ This is nowhere near the compensation these women deserve, and they made sure to let the U.S. Soccer Federation know, by citing in the lawsuit the women’s three World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals and the 2015 World Cup title game being the most watched soccer match in American television history, according to ESPN. Not to mention, the USWNT has also been ranked No. 1 in the world for 10 of the past 11 years. Needless to say, their success speaks for itself.

Enough is enough. This battle that has gone on for quite some time for female athletes in all sports. It is wrong for these athletes to be paid and valued less for the work they do, solely based off their gender. This is why 28 members of the U.S. women’s national team are using their platform to take these stands, not only for their own sake but to set the standard for all female athletes when it comes to equality in sport. Many of these women and the women that came before them have been fighting this battle for decades, and this team feels a sense of responsibility to keep the ball rolling and take the next step forward. Two-time Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and co-captain of the team spoke about the lawsuit on ESPN asserting, “In light of our team’s unparalleled success on the field, it’s a shame that we still are fighting for treatment that reflects our achievements and contributions to the sport. We have made progress in narrowing the gender pay gap, however progress does not mean that we will stop working to realize our legal rights and make equality a reality for our sport.” These are steps in the right direction for all female athletes, and women’s soccer understands the importance of leading the way.

They understand the position they are in, and they are taking full advantage of it. With the World Cup being three months away, the spotlight is on them. Although most talk has been about the lawsuit, the women are aware it will be a long process, and now that they have taken this next step forward, they can focus all their energy to preparing for the World Cup this summer. They will continue to fight for what they believe in and show what a group of empowered women who come together can accomplish, on and off the field. They will look to repeat as World Cup champions for the first time in history and all eyes are on them, as they should be.

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