The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) were the talk of the country last year bringing home the gold medals. Their stories and names became part of the sports lore as they battled tough teams to reach the pinnacle of soccer. They beat Germany in the Women’s World Cup Finals in Canada and being treated to a ticker tape parade in New York City Much to their dismay, they have to continue fighting but this time in a court room against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). According to various news reports, the USWNT filed suit against the USSF for wage disparity between the men’s soccer team and the women’s soccer team. The grievance was filed with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This lawsuit has caused conversation about the wage parity issue across the world and on other issues affecting female athletes. The USWNT has been more successful then the USMNT and according to the reports are paid four times less than the men. Hope Solo, one of the superstars on the team, was quoted as saying to Associated Press
“We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the [men] get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.
The wage disparity complaints aren’t new from the USWNT. In fact, women soccer players all over the world have been battling for equality in pay and stature. As bad as the pay disparity is in the United States, some women’s national teams have it much worse. The fight for equality among the sexes never ends, but because sports is primarily merit based people may not understand the fight female athletes have to wage. In addition to pay, they have less sponsors, shoddier equipment, and less marketing devoted to their activities. In these past few years, underrepresented groups are making their voices heard on a range of issues. Women, especially, have become more vocal about the issues affecting them like work life balance and pay equity. The book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg touched on these issues. There has been proposed legislation for equal pay among the sexes.This lawsuit announces to the world that the USWNT is now part of the fight to end the wage disparity between the sexes.