Play­ers strike a pos­si­bil­ity as US women fight for equal pay

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

MEM­BERS of the reign­ing Women’s World Cup cham­pion United States na­tional team vow to push their case for pay equal to the US men’s team’s as far as it takes.

Speak­ing to CBS in an in­ter­view broad­cast Sun­day on 60 Min­utes, star striker Carli Lloyd and team­mates Becky Sauer­brunn, Mor­gan Brian and Chris­ten Press warned a strike was pos­si­ble with­out changes from US Soc­cer, whose con­tract with the play­ers ex­pires at the end of the year.

“It would be a dis­cus­sion that we would have to have,” US cap­tain and de­fender Sauer­brunn said.

Lloyd scored a hat trick in last year’s Women’s World Cup fi­nal at Van­cou­ver to push a 5-2 US tri­umph over Ja­pan. She said the US fight was im­por­tant to women around the world, and be­yond football or sports.

“This is his­tory-mak­ing what we’re do­ing, what we’re fight­ing for,” Lloyd said. “It not only res­onates with this team and with gen­er­a­tions to come, but it’s global as well.”

Asked how far they were will­ing to carry the fight for equal sup­port from US Soc­cer, Lloyd said, “Un­til we get what we want.”

The Amer­i­cans also won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and on home soil in 1999.

US women had cap­tured four gold medals and a sil­ver at the Olympics un­til this year at Rio, where they were ousted in the quar­ter-fi­nals by Swe­den on penalty kicks.

The US men’s team is less suc­cess­ful by far com­pared to equiv­a­lent global rivals, with the re­port say­ing US Soc­cer will net US$5 mil­lion on US women’s ticket sales while the men will lose about $1 mil­lion.

The women have filed a com­plaint with the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion, which is look­ing into dif­fer­ences in sup­port for the US men’s and women’s teams not only in salary but also play­ing con­di­tions, equip­ment and travel.

“We wanted to put pres­sure on them, and so with the EEOC com­plaint, it’s seemed like a no-brainer for us,” Sauer­brunn said.

The women ac­cuse US Soc­cer of vi­o­lat­ing equal pay and sex dis­crim­i­na­tion laws. The com­mis­sion has the power to award dam­ages or is­sue rights for work­ers to sue but it could also do noth­ing at all.

US women have com­plained about the qual­ity of pitches in some ar­eas, with a match in Hawaii called off be­cause of a play­ing sur­face con­sid­ered sub-stan­dard.

US women fly coach, while the men’s team has first-class plane tick­ets in their con­tract with US Soc­cer.

“To be able to per­form like we do and to be the best in the world, we should be treated the same as them,” Brian said.

The US Soc­cer Fed­er­a­tion, in a state­ment to CBS, said they “are ac­tively work­ing to reach a new agree­ment with the women’s team”.

“They are look­ing back­wards, you know?” Sauer­brunn said.

“We’re look­ing to go for­wards from now on and we’ve shown – and they’ve pro­jected in their own fi­nan­cials – that we’re go­ing to make them money. So it’s, I think, un­fair to pay us less based on per­for­mances in the past.” –

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