U.S. Soccer Stars Speak Out on Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
Players filed lawsuit months away from FIFA World Cup.
Members of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team are speaking out about their lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, just months ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup. The lawsuit alleges discrimination towards the women's team as compared to the men's team, and claims U.S. Soccer has violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
"I think we've learned a lot through this process," star player Megan Rapinoe told CBS This Morning . "We've really come together as a group, and been able to solidify our unity and our strength, and really begun to understand the power of everyone being on the same page."
The lawsuit, which was filed in California last week by all current players on the team, claims the women's team is underpaid. According to the suit, if both the men's and the women's teams were to win 20 non-tournament matches, the men would earn on average $263,320, while the average women's team player would earn a maximum of $99,000.
U.S. Soccer claims the pay disparity is due to the men's team bringing in more revenue and higher ratings, but striker Alex Morgan contends that the women's team has been under-marketed and under-represented.
"That's one of the cases that we have in our fight, and that's a very important thing moving forward," Morgan said. "And I don't think that's only us - I think that's women's sports all around."
"These are the same kinds of arguments and claims that we still see at every level of education for women and girls, from K through 12 to college," Neena Chaudhry, the general counsel of the National Women's Law Center, told the New York Times. "It's unfortunately a sad continuation of the way that women and girls in sports are treated in the U.S."
The women's team is currently preparing to defend their World Cup title this summer in France. They won the 2015 World Cup, defeating Japan 5-2 in the final. The men's team failed to qualify for last summer's FIFA World Cup.
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