Long-simmering tensions between U.S. Soccer and the Women’s National Team arose again today, International Women’s Day, with a New York Times report that all 28 players in the USWNT player pool have sued the governing body for engaging in “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
This lawsuit is just the latest salvo in the ongoing battle between the defending World Cup Champions and the organization charged with overseeing the sport in the United States.
The suit closes the books on the complaint filed with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) by five leading members of the team in 2016. Of the original five, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, all but Solo, who has retired, remain active with the team.
The players have requested class-action status for the suit, if that status is granted, former USWNT members could be included in any future agreement. The players are seeking back pay and additional damages in the suit.
The suit alleges unfair treatment not just in salaries but also in conditions around the team, such as travel, hotels, etc.
Star striker Morgan released the following statement: “Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that.” “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.”