On Friday all 28 members of the United States women’s national soccer team filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
The legal filing includes USWNT superstars Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. It represents a sudden escalation of an ongoing conflict between the reigning world champions and U.S. Soccer surrounding pay equity and overall treatment compared to the men’s team.
only months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title.
The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title. The issues, the athletes said, affected not only their paychecks but also where they played and how often, how they trained, the medical treatment and coaching they received, and even how they traveled to matches.
The lawsuit’s points mirrored many issues raised in a wage-discrimination complaint filed by five United States players with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. The lack of a resolution, or even any noticeable action, on that now three-year-old complaint led the players to seek, and receive, a right-to-sue letter from the E.E.O.C. in February. The decision to take their case to federal court effectively ends the E.E.O.C. complaint.
The players have requested class action status. They are seeking to represent any current or former players who have represented the women’s national team since Feb. 4, 2015 and are requesting back pay and damages and other relief: a potential award that could reach into the millions of dollars.