13 January 2021

Former US goalkeeper Hope Solo says US national women’s team is not doing enough in fight for equal pay

Former USA footballer Hope Solo says the current national team 'isn't doing enough' in the fight for equal pay.

Solo filed her own lawsuit for gender discrimination against the US Soccer Federation months ahead of the Women's national team's case in 2019 which hit a major obstacle in May last year when a judge dismissed their claims of wage discrimination. Appearing on the BBC's The Players' podcast alongside current USWNT striker Carli Lloyd, Solo said: “What I've learnt is that it takes more than speaking about it. Anyone can get on the microphone, anybody can wear a shirt, anyone can take something up, but how do you actually get things done?

"That’s where I'm at right now, because we have been fighting for equal pay since 2015. We're still in the same, exact spot.

“I do believe work has to be put in, and when I say work I'm talking about legal documents, I'm talking about meeting with politicians, congress, and the United States Senate. I'm tired of talking about it. Things have to change.”

While the US team had their wage discrimination case rejected for trial by judge Gary Klausner, they were granted leave to pursue their action for equal working conditions.

They did just that and won the case last month. But despite that victory, Solo believes her former team-mates could have been in a stronger position if they hadn't signed a collective bargaining agreement in 2017.

She added: “I don’t think we’re doing enough. I think the US women’s national team isn’t doing enough. We had the ability to get equal pay four years ago and the current players passed on that because they agreed to the new contracts. 

“Sacrifices have to be made. I do believe eventually we are going to see it, but we’re not there yet. We have to stand up together and be strong together and make sacrifices – and that hasn't been done yet."

Solo who as goalkeeper, won one World Cup and two Olympic gold medals over 16 years, saw her international career end in a controversial manner after she called the Swedish team a 'bunch of cowards'.

The outburst, which led to her contract being terminated, came after the US lost to Sweden in the 2016 Olympic quarter-final.

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