The global fight for women's equality continues for the United States women's national team with less than 100 days before the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. A few years after players spoke out about wage disparity in comparison to the men's national team, the USWNT is suing the U.S. Soccer federation for gender discrimination.
All 28 members of the women's national team filed a lawsuit under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act on Friday, which also happened to be International Women's Day. As CBS News points out, the lawsuit alleges gender-based discrimination in comparison to the men's team.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles and focuses on the unequal pay in comparison to the men's national team despite having the same responsibilities. As Sports Illustrated reported in 2016, the women's national team would get $1,350 per player for a friendly win against a top-10 ranked team, and the men would get $17,625 for a win against a similar opponent. The team is seeking damages and back pay as part of this law suit.
The women's team received raises in base pay, bonuses and better travel accommodations in the last negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2017 but continue to pursue legal action in an effort to receive the same as the men's team.
"Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that," forward Alex Morgan said in a statement according to the Associated Press. "We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender."
One of the biggest disparities in comparison is also the prize money at major competitions. The USWNT reportedly received $2 million for winning the last World Cup, while Germany's men's team got $35 million for winning the 2014 World Cup. Additionally, the USWNT brought in $20 million more than the men's team in 2015's USSF financial report.
Now begins this new path of legal action, and we'll have to see what comes out of it. The women's team isn't letting up as they continue to fight for equality.