LOS ANGELES — The US women’s national soccer team sued the US Soccer Federation on Friday with allegations of gender discrimination just three months before they open their World Cup title defense in France.
All 28 members of the United States squad were named as plaintiffs in federal court in Los Angeles on International Women’s Day and the lawsuit includes complaints about wages and nearly every other aspect of their working conditions.
The players, a group that includes stars Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men’s team.
“Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that,” US co-captain Morgan said in a statement.
“We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender.”
According to the lawsuit, filed three years after several players made a similar complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, US soccer has “utterly failed to promote gender equality.”
The US Soccer Federation did not respond when asked to comment on the lawsuit.
The players said that US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro previously admitted the women’s team should be valued as much as the men’s squad but the federation “has paid only lip service to gender equality.”
The lawsuit outlines years of institutionalized gender discrimination, claiming travel conditions, medical personnel, promotion of games and training are less favorable for female players compared to their male counterparts. — Reuters