U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Sues U.S. Soccer for Gender Discrimination


Twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team significantly escalated their long-running fight with the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on Friday.
The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defence of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France. In their filing and a statement released by the team, the 28 players described “institutionalised gender discrimination” that they say has existed for years.
The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.
The players involved — stars like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd and their teammates — include some of the most accomplished and best-known female athletes in the world, members of a team that has been a leading force in women’s sports for more than a generation.
Friday’s legal action is the latest flash point in a years long fight for pay equity and equal treatment by the national team, which has long chafed — first privately, but increasingly publicly — about the compensation, support and working conditions it receives while representing U.S. Soccer. The women’s players argue that they are required to play more games than the men’s team, that they win more of them, and yet still receive less pay from the federation.


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