Duckworth, Durbin salute women's soccer team, back equal pay
A protest is set next week outside the U.S. Soccer Federation in Chicago
By Ted Cox
Illinois’s two U.S. senators salute the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team while backing their demand for equal pay compared with the men’s national team.
The U.S. women beat the Netherlands 2-0 Sunday in Lyon, France, to capture their second straight World Cup and fourth overall. U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin joined in presenting a bipartisan Senate resolution Thursday applauding that victory.
“The resolution also highlights the Senate’s solidarity with the team as they fight for equal pay,” according to a news release put out by Duckworth’s office. Other lead sponsors include Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
“The U.S. Women’s National Team has inspired our nation with their historic and incredible win. This is a proud moment for all Americans, and this resolution recognizes the hard work, determination, and skill that this team showed in their fourth World Cup victory,” Duckworth said in a statement. “I’m glad to support these amazing women as they strive for the equal pay they deserve, and am looking forward to meeting with the team to celebrate their accomplishments and discuss the important challenges facing women both on and off the field.”
“Like most Americans and people around the globe, I was glued to my TV during this year’s Women’s World Cup,” Durbin added. “It was an amazing tournament, and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is a fantastic and inspirational group of women. They deserve equal pay, and I am proud to join the bipartisan Senate resolution to stand with them in this fight.”
The battle over equal pay never overshadowed the U.S. women as they went undefeated in the 2019 World Cup, but with the tournament over it moves to the forefront.
The U.S. men receive far more in monetary compensation than the women do, even though they’ve never won a World Cup and, in fact, struggle just to qualify every four years. The Women’s World Cup final on Sunday produced higher TV ratings in the United States than the last men’s final did.
Co-captains Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn led teammates in filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. In February, they received permission to sue the U.S. Soccer Federation, which oversees both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, and that suit is ongoing.
The resolution lauds the team and its players, but also points out that the Senate “stands in solidarity with the women of the USWNT as they fight for equal pay.” It was immediately signed by 32 members of the Senate, including Democratic presidential candidates Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
The battle moves to the streets of Chicago next week, as the grassroots protest group Move On has joined in leading a protest outside the U.S. Soccer Federation headquarters, 1801 S. Prairie Ave., at 10 a.m. Tuesday.