Players of USA celebrate their victory during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 05, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.
Brazil Photo Press/CON—LatinContent/Getty Images
By Suyin Haynes
November 21, 2016
MOTTO
Suyin Haynes is an Associate Audience Editor for TIME.

Members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team have spoken out about the inequality and discrimination they have faced from the U.S. Soccer Federation, saying that they are being treated like “second-class citizens” in comparison with their male counterparts.

Team captain Carli Lloyd, along with teammates Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press, Morgan Brian and Hope Solo voiced their frustrations in an interview for 60 Minutes, which was aired on Sunday. The team revealed their long fight for equal pay, and hinted at strike action if the complaint they have lodged with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Federation is not resolved. Despite being the top ranked women’s team in the world according to FIFA, they are paid approximately three times less the men’s team if the figures are broken down per match, according to Solo.

“Every time we brought up the men, it pissed them off, it annoyed them, and they’d say, ‘Don’t bring up the men. Don’t bring it up,'” Solo said, noting that the women’s team had been challenging the existing pay structure for several years. The dispute also involves factors such as playing conditions, equipment and travel in addition to pay disparity. Morgan Brian said, “To be able to perform like we do and to be the best in the world, we should be treated the same as them.”

In a statement to 60 Minutes, the Federation said they “are actively working to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the USWNT.” Lloyd added that the team would not stop fighting until equality was achieved, saying, “This is history-making, what we’re doing, what we’re fighting for. It not only resonates with this team and with generations to come but it’s global as well.”

 

 

 

Write to Suyin Haynes at suyin.haynes@time.com.

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