Why Women's Soccer Players Are Suing Over Pay Discrimination

March 31st 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

When it comes to the U.S. Soccer Federation, there's one stat that's driving the action right now — $8 million. That's how much more revenue the women's team is projected to pull in compared to their male counterparts, despite being paid four times less. Now the women's team is striking back.

Alex Morgan against Canada

Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Rebecca Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, and Alex Morgan — star players from the Women's team — are seeking to address the pay disparity through an official complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Players talked to The Today Show about their decision Thursday morning.

Solo and LLoyd said that the USWNT has to take a stand, and that the team has the power to make a change because of their success.

"We believe now the time is right because we believe it's a responsibility for women's sports, specifically women's soccer, to really do whatever it takes for equal pay and equal rights and to be treated with respect," said Solo.

LLoyd points to the persistent pay gap in soccer even after the USWNT won the sport's highest prizes.

"I think that we've proven our worth over the years. Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large," Lloyd told the Today Show. "And we want to continue to fight."


The USWNT won the World Cup in 2015 with a crushing win over Japan. The women have won three gold medals and three World cups while shattering ratings records for American soccer games, as 26.7 million people watched them beat Japan, according to The Today Show.

In a statement to the press, the U.S Soccer Federation said that it was disappointed with the women's decision to file a complaint.
"We've been a world leader in women's soccer and are proud of the commitment we've made to building the women's game in the United States over the past 30 years," it said.

The union for USWNT is also involved in a legal dispute with the federation over whether the the women have the right to go on strike over pay disparities before the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Just one more reason to cheer for our women's team.

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