Anna Sheffer
July 11, 2019 8:38 am

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is currently taking some much-needed time to celebrate after winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (and smashing records in the process). Since their victory on July 7th, the athletes have given speeches, attended after-parties, and marched in a ticker tape parade in New York City. But underneath all of these festivities, many are frustrated that the U.S. women’s soccer team earns less than the men’s team. Even celebrities like Sandra Bullock are among those demanding equal pay for soccer players.

The World Cup-winning troop won Best Team at ESPN’s 2019 ESPYs, and team co-captain Alex Morgan won the ESPY for Best Female Athlete. The women’s soccer team beat out six other teams that dominated their sports this year: the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, the Clemson Tigers, the Baylor Bears, the Toronto Raptors, and the Virginia Cavaliers. Bullock presented the award, and during her speech, she took the opportunity to address pay equality.

Bullock isn’t the only celebrity to address the gender wage gap in U.S. soccer. ESPN notes that as host Tracy Morgan bid the audience farewell, he declared, “Let’s pay these ladies, and let’s fight cancer.”

On social media, other actors, athletes, and politicians have agreed.

Even lawmakers are starting to weigh in on the debate. According to CNN, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia introduced a bill on July 9th that would withhold funding for the 2026 men’s World Cup—which is set to take place in the U.S.—until both teams are guaranteed equal pay.

Meanwhile, ABC News notes that at the parade for the women’s soccer team, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged that if elected president, he would ask Congress to amend the Amateur Sports Act to guarantee that women’s and men’s national sports teams receive equal pay. Before the parade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that, per ABC, would close a loophole that allows gender-based pay discrimination.

With all of their incredible feats, the U.S. women’s soccer team is more than deserving of a pay raise. It’s time we pay these athletes what they’re worth.

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