The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup last summer in Canada and won Olympic gold in 2012 in England. They are the reigning champions in both events.
Unfortunately, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Rebecca Sauerbrunn and others may boycott the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to protest wage discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Is it possible that the best team in the world could miss an event that only happens once every four years?
“I think the women have to consider all their options,” the team’s attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’ve made no decisions about how they would exercise that right, which they believe they have. But it is certainly something they have to consider if the USSF continues to take these illegal positions, continues to treat them in this second-class manner when they’re the world champions.”
The 2016 Olympics begin August 5, which is only a few short months from now. The women’s soccer team dedicates their lives to training and competing on a world-class level, so navigating this legal issue while also remaining in top form will be difficult.
“Well, we’re doing our best, the women are, to get a new collective bargaining agreement before the Olympics,” Kessler said. “So far, the USSF has not itself shown much interest in speeding this process along. It’s taken us months to get them even to give us a new response to the women’s collective bargaining proposals. So we don’t know what’s going to happen. This should get resolved before the Olympics, but whether it will or not, the women can’t make a deal if the USSF isn’t going to do it.”
Kessler, who also represents Tom Brady but declined to comment on his legal battle with the NFL, said the outside response to the women’s complaint has been well-received.
“I think it’s been great,” he said. “I’ve never been affiliated with any legal issue that has received such overwhelming, widespread support as this one – not just in North America, but around the world. We’ve had offers of support from everyplace form Australia to Europe to China to Japan to the Middle East and Africa. This has really struck a chord with women and people generally interested in fair pay around the globe.”