The US women’s national soccer team stood in solidarity with the Canadian national team Thursday in Orlando during the SheBelieves Cup in the name of eliminating inequality and discrimination.
Team Canada has been one of the best in the world, winning gold at the Olympic Games and being among the favorites to win the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which begins in July.
However, the team has been very public in its dispute with its federation, which they say has seen significant budget cuts for the women’s team and other programs. They also claimed that preparations for their World Cup are being compromised.
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Before the match began, Canada wore purple jerseys with the saying «Enough is enough» written across their jerseys. Both teams also met at midfield and hugged while each player wore a purple wristband to signify gender equality.
They also wore a white ribbon with the words «Defend Trans Joy» on it.
In 2022, American women reached a historic $24 million settlement with their federation, ending a six-year legal battle over equal pay. The US Soccer Federation announced the deal in February 2022 in which the players will split $22 million, which was about a third of what they were seeking in damages. The other $2 million would benefit the players in their post-soccer careers, as well as charitable efforts to grow the sport for women.
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Now Canada is fighting its own battle.
«It’s pretty disgusting that we have to ask to be treated equally,» said Canadian Janine Beckie, via ESPN. «It’s a fight that women all over the world have to be in every day. But frankly, we’re really sick of it. It’s 2023, we won the damn Olympics and we’re about to go to the World Cup.» . with the team that could win.»
For the entire week leading up to this game, Team USA has been their opponent.
«To have them known this way by their federation after winning a world championship is crazy to me. I think we’re all with them all the time,» Megan Rapinoe told reporters.
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Added Alex Morgan: «They are seeing their federation not living up to their word and they are no longer waiting, they are no longer patient. As much as we, the players in the USA, can support them in their fight for equal pay , we» will do that».
During practices this week, the Canadian team wore backwards jerseys, echoing a similar protest by the American women just three years ago at the same tournament.
«Our only priority is to accommodate the request from the players of the women’s national team,» Canada Soccer told ESPN.
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The American team won the friendly match, 2-0, when Mallory Swanson scored both goals in the first half.