By Ken Reed

In about three weeks, the best female soccer players in the world will gather in Paris for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

The Americans will be one of the favorites in the competition. Their games will be big draws back in the States. In the 2015 World Cup, the women’s national team played in the most-watched U.S. soccer game ever in the United States — male or female.

The women’s national team is one of the elite squads in the world. The U.S. men’s national team struggles every four years simply to qualify for the World Cup. Yet, the women still struggle, and fall short, when it comes to being compensated fairly relative to the men.

“[W]hat really makes it hard for us female athletes is that we don’t make the same money as men do. Just flat out.” says Alex Morgan, a star on the women’s team. “Let me explain. If you look at any of the top players in Europe, I probably make like … I don’t know … a nickel to their dollar?”

Morgan is frustrated by the fact that in 2019 gender equity is still such a big issue in our society.

“It’s just not the same for us,” says Morgan.

“And it’s like this for every woman. Everywhere. It angers me so much that we still have to talk about these same old issues. That we still have to hear about them from women in different lines of work. That the change is so slow and snail-like.”

Nevertheless, Morgan is upbeat about what the upcoming World Cup can do for women, not just in sports but in all lines of work.

“What all of this will lead to, I hope, is that women will build each other up and continue our fight for a seat at the table,” says Morgan. “I think we have a special few months ahead of us. I really believe that the World Cup can be a platform for female empowerment, and we want to capitalize on that, both on and off the field.”

American soccer fans, along with fans of justice everywhere, will be pulling for them.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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