“I think the timing is right. I think we've proven our worth over the years. Just coming off a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large. We want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought. And now it's our job to keep on fighting."
- Carli Lloyd, USWNT
Recently, five members of the USWNT filed a discrimination charge against the US Soccer Federation. The equal pay claim comes at an integral time for the widely popular women’s team. Coming off a 2015 World Cup Championship, the members of the team are preparing for a run at the gold medal match in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
I grew up playing soccer around the same time that Team USA was climbing the ranks in the soccer world. Players like Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were putting women’s soccer on the map. It was because of them that I became a fan of not only playing the game, but also watching the women’s team succeed.
FIFA currently ranks USA as the top women’s program in the world. They have been one of the most successful clubs over the past decade and are continuing to expand their market. Some may even argue that they have surpassed the popularity of the men’s team with their recent success. Either way, the U.S. Men’s National Team has shown their support of their claim. Goalkeeper Tim Howard spoke with SportsCenter in regards to their claim, stating:
“We support the fact that the women should fight for their rights and fight for what they think is just compensation. We, on the men's side, have been fighting that battle for a long, long time. We certainly know what it feels like.”
These players have made a name for themselves all across the world, and their track record speaks volumes for what they have accomplished. The common theme across all of the media articles and quotes is that this will be a fight.
The soccer stars on the women’s team believe this is their time. They have built a platform for success on the field and I, like many others, am curious to see the outcome of this claim. Despite what that outcome is, it has ignited conversations about equal rights for women in the soccer world and beyond.