Story by: Sydney Blankenship, staff writer
Photo by: Elizabeth Miller, staff photographer
The battle for equal pay has been long and ongoing, and the fight has moved its way into soccer. Five women of the United States women’s national soccer team have filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) using the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the USSF’s 2015 financial records, the women made about a quarter of what the men earned. The EEOC will conduct an investigation to determine if the findings warrant compensation for the team. They are working with the law firm Winston & Strawn.
“In early January, the Women’s National Team Players Association submitted a reasonable proposal for a new CBA that had equal pay for equal work as its guiding principle,” Joe Kessler, co-chairman of the Winston & Strawn, said. “U.S. Soccer responded by suing the players in an effort to keep in place the discriminatory and unfair treatment they have endured for years.”
The law firm is currently in a legal dispute with U.S. Soccer over the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. The federation filed a lawsuit earlier this year hoping to clear up the contract with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Players Association that runs until December 31.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has recently joined the fight for equal pay. At a discussion for women’s equal pay, Clinton complimented one of the women on the team, Megan Rapinoe, midfielder, for her efforts for equal pay. The men’s United States soccer team is also cheering the women on.
“I think it is something that needs to be done,” Avery Haines, 12 said. “The women’s team brought in more revenue than the men. The men lost most games, while the women won the championship, so it is only fair women fight for equal pay.”
Recently, five players from the women’s team threatened to boycott the Olympics in hopes of closing the wage gap. The debate is still in progress.