Professional female soccer players filed an action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions for wage discrimination against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) on March 31.
Five players — Carli Loloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo — stated, according to ESPN, that the USSF has not equally paid its women’s U.S. national soccer team, despite the team bringing in plenty of revenue for U.S. Soccer.
The U.S. women’s soccer team won the 2015 World Cup against Japan. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) claims there were more than 764 million viewers of the game: an all-time record viewing and second most watched match after the men’s 2015 World Cup. It was the first time that a women’s sports team received a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
The prize money for winning the women’s World Cup is $15 million. According to Business Insider, the US women’s national team only received $2 million, where as the men received $9 million after being knocked out in round 16 in their World Cup tournament. The Washington Post stated after winning the 2014 World Cup, Germany’s men’s soccer team received $35 million in prize money.
The Washington Post reported that women’s minimum salary starts at $6,842 while men’s salaries start at $60,000 in Major League Soccer. Men’s World Cups generate roughly 20 times more money than the women’s in sponsorship. There have been 20 Men’s World Cups compared to the seven Women’s World Cups
U.S. national soccer team forward Alex Morgan took to Facebook to state: “This is not only about equal pay — we get paid less than half of our male counterparts — but also equal treatment.”
Last year, the team refused to play in a friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago because the turf field’s conditions were seen as dangerous for the athletes. These turf fields were only being used by women soccer teams; men’s teams usually play on grass.
“It’s sexist that they are forced to play under dangerous conditions when men are not,” as said in Time.
Solo posted on Twitter a photo of herself lifting the field’s turf off the ground to display its dangers for players. Artificial grass can be a leading cause for many soccer players to suffer ankle, knee and skin injuries.
Many great female athletes have come out of U.S. soccer like Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Abbey Wambach. The professional team has won three Women’s World Cups in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
So far, the Men’s U.S. soccer team has not won a World Cup tournament.