And the U.S. women’s soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation have agreed to mediation over a gender-based pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the 28 players in March. The suit also alleges the organization denies the women’s team equal playing, training and travel conditions, and does not promote their matches as much as the men’s soccer team. Figures from the U.S. Soccer Federation’s own financial records show that, in the three years following the team’s victory at the 2015 World Cup, ticket sales for women’s games generated more total revenue than men’s games, a key argument in the lawsuit.
The co-captain of the women’s team, Megan Rapinoe, is also making headlines during the World Cup for refusing to sing the national anthem and put her hand on her heart ahead of games. In the past, she has also taken the knee to protest police violence and racism. Rapinoe is also an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” she has said about the protest. The U.S. team is heading to the World Cup quarter-finals later this week, where they will face off with France.