May 28, 2019

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

Cooky sports 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: Leading up to the Women’s World Cup, the United States women’s soccer team remains at odds with the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal pay after filing a gender discrimination lawsuit in March. The players have become known for their collective activism after seeking equal pay during collective bargaining and filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission two years ago. The federation recently responded to the litigation stating its pay practices “are not based on sex.”

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: “Feminism is informing, and informed by, the players’ activism on this issue. The voices of the players are at the center of media coverage, and these players are giving voice and visibility not only to the issue of pay equity in soccer, but to the struggle for equal pay in all industries. The U.S. Women’s National Team is becoming an icon for gender equality and feminism.”

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

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

* Sports sociologist on women's soccer, equal pay.

* Despite loss, soccer success could fulfill goals for women's sports. 

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

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

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