BY MALCOLM CAMPBELL
Members of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team have filed suit through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
On Thursday morning the lawyer representing the five players named in the suit appeared on The Today Show to outline their side of the argument. Most importantly, that the women’s team was paid almost four times less than the men, all while generating more income for the program.
Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer representing the women said, “Last year, U.S. Soccer made over 16 million(USD) dollars from this team[USWNT], the men’s team caused a two million dollar loss.” The Los Angeles Times posted an Exhibit from the suit that breaks down the pay disparities here.
Carli Lloyd, one of the five complainants said the decision to bring action was not rushed. “The timing is right, we’ve proven our worth over the years….the pay disparity between men and women is too large,” she said.
“I’ve been on this team for a decade and a half, and I’ve been through numerous negotiations and honestly not much has changed. We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to get to play professional soccer and to get paid for doing it. And in this day and age it’s about equality.” – Hope Solo, USWNT Goalkeeper
While the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) claims a collective bargaining agreement was agreed to for these numbers, the women’s team says the agreement has expired. This is just one more event in a list of recent legal issues between the USSF and the women’s team, and yet another battle for women since they were allowed into the athletic world.
Here is a look at some of the bigger moments, good and bad, for gender equity in sport.