June 12, 2019

After dominant performance, U.S. women’s soccer players making case for equal pay

Cheryl Cooky Cheryl Cooky, associate professor of American studies at Purdue University, says the recent lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation is part of a long fight for pay equity in sports. Download image

WHAT: The United States women’s soccer team put on a record-breaking performance with its 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday, scoring the most goals and winning by the largest margin in World Cup history. After filing a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March, the returning champions are making their case that women’s soccer players are just as capable – and deserving of equal pay – as the men’s team. In total, the women’s team has won three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, while the men’s team has won none.

EXPERT: Cheryl Cooky, associate professor of American studies at Purdue University, is co-author of the book, “No Slam Dunk: Gender, Sport and the Unevenness of Social Change,” which explores the ups-and-downs of gender equality in sports over the last 50 years. Cooky also is co-author of a 30-year study on the quality and quantity of men’s and women’s sports coverage on local TV news programs and sports news and highlights shows. The research team gathers and analyzes data every five years. The most recent study was published in 2015, while the next iteration, which includes content from sports websites and social media, will be released in 2020.

QUOTE: “You can no longer make the justifications from the past to legitimatize paying female athletes less: We know that people are interested in watching women’s sports when you put it on television, and we see that in the World Cup time and time again; we know the game is exciting; and we know the women’s team is a perennial winner that outperforms the men’s team.”

MORE INFORMATION: Additional coverage of Cheryl Cooky and women’s soccer can be found here:

*U.S. women’s soccer team becoming face of feminism, equal pay

*U.S. soccer lawsuit gets ball rolling toward pay equity in sports 

Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, paul102@purdue.edu

Source: Cheryl Cooky, 765-496-2857, ccooky@purdue.edu

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