In three months, the U.S. women's soccer team will battle other countries at the Women's World Cup in France. But today, they face another battle, one at home. Last week 28 members of the team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer on the basis of gender discrimination.
According to ESPN, the suit "was filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles," and "was filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act." The suit focuses on a demand for equal pay, but also touches on working, medical, coaching and playing conditions.
The New York Times reported that the team has been involved in a longstanding fight for equality, and are insisting equal pay and treatment, as they play more games than the men's team, and win more of them.
When compared to the men's team, in recent years, the women's team has in fact been far more successful on the field, but their praise and fame have come at a cost, or more like a major difference in cost. According to the Washington Post, the women's team shared a bonus of $1.73 million after their World Cup win in 2015, while the men shared a bonus of $5.38 million in bonuses after they lost in the 16th round of the 2014 World Cup.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include big-name players like Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd, and the Times reported that their teammates are "some of the most accomplished and best-known female athletes in the world." The Times also stated that other athletes from other sports teams have reached out to the women's team in support of their efforts towards equality, as for women in sports, gender discrimination is a fight they all face.
Soccer is one of the most watched and played games worldwide, making the game much more than a game, but a phenomenon. When it comes to the soccer, the battle that takes place on the field is one that requires strength, perseverance, and resilience, qualities that each of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team players will need to embody off the field this time, in much more than a game, but a battle for their rights and their fight for equality.