By Ken Reed

The US women’s national soccer team has filed a wage discrimination lawsuit through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against US Soccer.

I say Godspeed ladies.

It’s about damn time something like this happened.

The women’s soccer team has been treated shabbily and unfairly — relative to the US men’s team — for years, as Dave Zirin does an excellent job pointing out in his latest column.

In terms of success on the field, there’s no comparison between the women’s and men’s soccer teams. The women’s team has won Olympic gold medals and World Cups. The men’s team is usually fortunate just to be a participant in the World Cup.

For decades, Title IX opponents have ignored civil rights and social justice arguments and turned to purely economic rationale to keep female athletes down. Their primary argument goes something like this: “Once women athletes start bringing in revenue equal to the men then, and only then, can we start talking about equal treatment.”

Well, consider this bottom line buffs: Not only has the women’s team been more successful than the men’s team on the scoreboard, they have also been significantly more successful from an economic perspective.

“Here are some of these pesky digits: 20 million,” writes Zirin.

“That’s how many more dollars in revenue the women produced in 2015 compared to the men’s team, while the fellas were paid nearly four times as much in salary and bonuses. That’s according to US Soccer’s own financial reports. Another number is 25.4 million. That’s the number of people who watched the 2015 World Cup Final against Japan, making it the most watched soccer match—male or female—in the history of this country. Then there are the smaller numbers: The women receive $10 less per day than men for their meal allowances on the road.”

Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapine filed the suit on behalf of the entire US women’s team.

These ladies are champions on and off the field. And they’ve earned, and deserve, our support.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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