200,000 petition signatures demanding equal pay for women’s soccer team delivered to U.S. Soccer Federation

The U.S. women’s national team has sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination.

SHARE 200,000 petition signatures demanding equal pay for women’s soccer team delivered to U.S. Soccer Federation
Greta Lindall, 12, helped deliver more than 200,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Soccer Federation demanding equal pay for the women’s soccer team Tuesday morning.

Twelve-year-old Greta Lindall helped deliver more than 200,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Soccer Federation demanding equal pay for the women’s soccer team Tuesday morning.

Cindy Hernandez/Chicago Sun-Times

Twelve-year-old Greta Lindall joined the fight for equal pay as it took center stage on the Near South Side Tuesday.

Greta has played soccer for as long as she can remember and watching the U.S. Women’s National Team win the 2019 World Cup only motivated her to continue advocating for women.

“It was such a competitive World Cup and even knowing that they are not being paid the same doesn’t make it any less exciting,” said Greta, who currently plays for the team at Skinner North Classical School on the Near North Side. “It, in fact, makes it more exciting knowing that there’s still a fight to win. That we still have something to look forward to.”

Greta joined members of various women’s advocacy groups Tuesday in delivering more than 200,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Soccer Federation at 1801 S. Prairie Ave. The petitions demanded equal pay for the women’s soccer team.

Twenty-eight members of the U.S women’s soccer team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination in March. The women will get bonuses about five times less from the federation than the men would have earned for winning the World Cup.

“U.S. Soccer’s arguments against paying women the same as men are just excuses for holding on to beliefs that are outdated and wrong,” Greta said. “This issue should have been addressed a long time ago.”

U.S. Soccer chief communications officer Neil Buethe said the federation and the USWNT are moving toward mediation.

The women’s soccer team has generated more revenue than the men’s team for the past three years, according to audited financial statements from U.S. Soccer. Despite this, the women make 38 cents for every dollar the men make.

On a national level, women are making 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed, said between 2009 and 2018 the wage gap has only closed by a nickel.

Ellens said she believes the women’s team will achieve pay equity and hopes the players will help the broaden the effort.

“Because they know how to win, we want to make sure that they continue to use their platform until all women reach pay equity,” Ellens said.

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