US Women's Soccer Files Wage Discrimination Suit

Social media blew up this morning when four members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team went on the Today Show to announce they would be filing a wage discrimination complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.

The question on everyone's minds, of course, was not why they were filing the complaint—It's long been known that the men's team makes somewhere between two and four times as much as the women's team per match, despite the fact that the women have drawn an enormous fan base in recent years, especially with their first place wins in the World Cup in 2015 and the Olympics in 2012. Instead, as Matt Lauer asked team captain Carli Lloyd, people wanted to know why now.

"I think the timing is right," Lloyd explained in the interview. "I think we've proven our worth over the years, just coming off of a World Cup win, and the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large, and we want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought, and now it's our job to keep on fighting."

Players Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe (who did not appear on the Today Show) are all part of the formal complaint, with which the players seeking equal pay with their male counterparts. And it's certainly not much to ask, considering the men's soccer team has never brought home a FIFA World Cup or Olympic championship title. According to NBC Sports, "U.S. women are paid between $3,600 and $4,950 per game, while men receive $6,250 to $17,625."

The players' attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, claimed that in 2015 the women's team made $16 million for U.S. Soccer, while the men’s team caused a $2 million loss. 

U.S. Soccer expressed disappointment in the EEOC complaint on Twitter. 


Despite this, the women say they are not going to back down from their battle, because as Hope Solo pointed out, it's not just about their own struggle.

"We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to pay professional soccer and to get paid for doing it, and in this day and age it's about equality, it's about equal rights, it's about equal pay and we're pushing for that," said Hope Solo later in the interview. "We believe it's our responsibility for women's sports, and specifically for women's soccer, to really do whatever it takes to push for equal pay and equal rights."