Soccer Star on Lack of Equal Pay: 'We Are Done With It'
Carli Lloyd explains why US women's players filed suit against US Soccer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2016 1:58 PM CDT
Carli Lloyd (10) in action for the US women's team during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Colombia on Sunday in Chester, Pa.   (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

(Newser) – Carli Lloyd loves playing soccer—so much so that she helped the US national women's team to two gold Olympic medals and the 2015 World Cup. What she doesn't love: the estimated 40% wage discrepancy between men and women players paid by US Soccer, leading her to join a federal suit against the organization with four other players. In a New York Times essay, Lloyd explains why she felt it necessary to take that step, noting it has nothing to do with her passion for the game and "everything to do with what's right and what's fair, and with upholding a fundamental American concept: equal pay for equal play." Lloyd makes her case on merit, citing the team's champion play and the fact that, with a total of three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals under its belt, the "United States women's national team is the most successful team in the history of US Soccer." (Meanwhile, another Times article notes the men's team "has historically been mediocre.")

And it's not just the team's trophy-gathering that deserves recognition, but also its ability to draw TV ratings and millions of dollars in profit for US Soccer, Lloyd says. The numbers she puts forth are jarring: She notes that men's team members who win a World Cup receive a $390,000 bonus, while she only brought home $75,000 after last summer's win. The women are apparently shafted even on their per diem payments, with Lloyd stating she gets $60 per day while she's traveling, compared to the $75 that men's player Michael Bradley pockets. "Maybe they figure that women are smaller and thus eat less," she wryly notes. There are other figures she throws out, though she insists there are no sour grapes with the guys, whom she says they "love" and "support." It all comes down to the federation itself. "Simply put, we're sick of being treated like second-class citizens," Lloyd says. "It wears on you after a while. And we are done with it." (Her hard-to-argue-with argument in full here.)