All 28 members of the World Cup champion U.S. women’s national soccer team have taken legal action against the United States Soccer Federation. They claim the organization pays them less than male players and denies them equal training, travel and playing conditions.
The women filed their lawsuit in Los Angeles on Friday, which was International Women’s Day. The case claims gender-based discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF).
In most of the world, the sport is called football.
The action comes just three months before the American women will defend their title at the Women’s World Cup in France.
The players say they have faced ongoing “institutionalized gender discrimination” including unequal pay. The women also say they have the same responsibilities as players on the U.S. men’s national team. They are seeking equal pay and treatment, along with payment for lost earnings over the years.
The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association was not part of the lawsuit. However, its representatives said in a statement that the association “supports the plaintiffs’ goal of eliminating gender-based discrimination by USSF.”
Alex Morgan, a member of the women’s team, said in a prepared statement, “Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that. We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility.”
The U.S. Soccer Federation did not immediately comment on Friday.
The U.S. women’s soccer team has seen great international successes, including three World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals.
When the team won its most recent World Cup title in 2015, it was the most-watched soccer game in American television history.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
Ashley Thompson adapted this story based on reports by the Associated Press and Reuters. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
lawsuit - n. a process by which a court of law makes a decision to end a disagreement between people or organizations
gender - n. the state of being male or female
title - n. the status or position of being the champion in a sport or other competition
plaintiff - n. a person who sues another person or accuses another person of a crime in a court of law
eliminate - v. to remove (something that is not wanted or needed) : to get rid of (something)
proud - adj. very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, someone you know or are related to, etc. :feeling pride
jersey - n. a loose shirt worn by a member of a sports team as part of a uniform