U.S. Women’s Soccer has been fighting a very public battle for pay parity for years.
World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Hope Solo joined Cheddar for a special #chedHER day of programming to discuss how the wide gap has affected her life.
“Even being among the best soccer players in the world, I wasn’t making a good enough living,” she told Cheddar in an interview. “I had to supplement my income by doing appearances, by doing photo shoots, oftentimes having my former agent try to convince me to do things like Playboy.”
Solo and her teammates filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Soccer Federation back in 2016 to protest the disparities between men’s and women’s salaries in the sport.
The men, who failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup after a stunning loss to Trinidad and Tobago in 2017, have not had much luck at the biggest events.
But they reportedly get paid four times as much as their female counterparts, who incidentally have brought home three World Cups and four Olympic Golds.
Part of the reason, Solo says, is broad pay inequity that plagues so many industries. But it also has to do with how the athletes are portrayed in the media.
“We sexualize female athletes,” she told Cheddar. “Before every Olympic Game, many different media come out with a list of the sexiest female athletes. If you scroll down on any article, maybe about me, you’ll see at the very bottom, women on Sports Illustrated covers.”
The women’s team reached an agreement with the sport’s governing body last year, but it stopped short of mandating equal pay for both teams.
For full interview, click here.