“LFG”: The United States National Football Team is better than the Men’s Team, so let’s pay it that way!

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Photo: ‘LFG’ / HBO Max

1.2 billion people watched in 2019 United States Women’s National Team won the Women’s World Cup In France. The world also watched the crowd erupt after the victory chanting “Equal Pay! Instead of the usual “USA!” There is a reason for this and it is none other than the pay parity fight that has become synonymous with US Women’s Football. The whole world has been invested in this permanent legal battle between the United States Football Federation and the United States Women’s National Team and the new HBO Max documentary ‘LFG‘documents this battle and why it matters more than just USWNT salaries.

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Background

To understand what’s going on with the lawsuit, you have to understand what happened before the lawsuit was filed in 2019. This fight actually started in 1999 when the USWNT won the world cup for the second time and began to point out publicly that they were paid significantly less than the US Men’s National Team who had never won a World Cup (their best ranking in World Cup history). of FIFA was third place in 1930). Even before 2019, the USWNT said they had to work a lot more, play more games, and earn more to earn the money the USMNT receives even when they lose, don’t qualify for the World Cup, and not to qualify for the Olympics.

‘LFG’ and documenting what will be a historic legal battle

“LFG” – short for the USWNT rallying cry “Let’s go!” – specifically documents the perspectives of current players Jessica mcdonald, Kelly O’Hara, Becky sauerbrunn, Christen Press, Sam mewis, and Megan Rapinoe, and former football player and analyst Julie foudy, all of which are part of the USWNT’s Equal Pay lawsuit. The documentary shows the timeline of players deciding to take legal action, actually starting their legal battle and beyond.

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The general theme of the documentary and this legal battle is how historic this lawsuit is. This is the first time that a sports team has filed a complaint against its employer and the first time that a women’s sports team has filed an equal pay complaint. The players have shared some of their stories of why they want to continue this fight. Jessica McDonald said that in the first few years she played professionally for American women’s football, she still had to work in an Amazon warehouse to even come close to a living wage, as football only paid her $ 15. $ 000 a year and how during that time she had friends. who served tables and earned more than she did as a professional athlete. The women on the team were tired of seeing their male counterparts doing less work for the money they make while the USWNT has to compete in more tournaments and win more titles to get even a fraction of what they earn. ‘USMNT wins.

In the United States, women earn about 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. The reason this USWNT lawsuit is so important beyond the football world is that it will determine whether gender discrimination in pay is legal or not; this case will set a precedent for Women’s rights and equal pay cases for years to come and be a worldwide example for women’s rights. ‘LFG’ shows how it’s not just in the United States that people are rallying around the USWNT and supporting their costume, but rather female athletes around the world and people outside of sport are all pushing for that. this case be judged in favor of the equality of women Pay.

In one of the behind-the-scenes clips from the documentary, a “Good Morning America” presenter is heard saying to Rapinoe and Press, “Thank you, on behalf of all of us who are not paid equally to our male counterparts. Thank you. ” We all need them to win this fight more than we think so that this country can really move forward.

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I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge sports fan and never really followed football very closely (or, frankly, not at all). However, when I first heard about the filing of the complaint against International Women’s Day in 2019 (the day the complaint was filed) I decided it was time to start paying attention to this sport and this team. Following them is more than just wanting them to win in the field, wanting them to win in court is something that must happen so that women can finally be seen as equal to men without having to fight. ; it will be something that will happen all the time because it will be the norm and the precedent.

So many women work as hard, if not harder than men, to advance in their field and be pitched in favor of a man based on the gender biases of our society. When we work as hard as we do, we deserve to get the recognition that is supposed to come with that work. The USWNT should be able to hear the chants of “USA! USA! “When they inevitably win their next big tournament because they won it and are paid as such; they shouldn’t have to keep hearing the slogans” Equal Pay! Equal Pay! ” because they will get equal pay because they not only deserve it but more than deserve it with their great track record unlike the USMNT. If anything, the women’s team should be paid better than the men’s team, but that’s a topic for another day.

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As shown in ‘LFG’, the original lawsuit was ruled in favor of the USSF, claiming that women can file complaints about inequalities in the workplace but not gender pay inequalities. They plan to take their fight to the 9th Circuit Court here in the near future because, as Rapinoe said, “We will not accept anything less than equal pay.”

The USWNT fight has women in the United States both hopeful and ready to fight for themselves in their own versions of this fight because, as Foudy pointed out, “I don’t think so. not that things change, historically, until people get angry enough and motivated enough to stand up and say ‘uh-uh, no more.’ Watching ‘LFG’ made me even more ready to fight this fight than before and to see these women prove again why they deserve equal compensation as they compete in the competition. Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games (which, in case you’re curious, the USMNT didn’t qualify for… for the fourth Olympics in a row).

‘LFG’ is now streaming on HBO Max.

Directed by: Andrea Nix Fine, Sean Fine

Produced By: Andrea Nix Fine, Sean Fine, Abby Greensfelder

Photography by: Sean Fine

Edited by: Jeff Consiglio

Through Caroline Schneider

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