50 Years of Title IX: “Just So Proud” 

50 Years of Title IX: “Just So Proud” 

 

As the world celebrates 50 years since the federal passage of Title IX, women’s sports – soccer in particular – are catching growing momentum as they strive to establish equal pay, greater recognition, and overall more justice. 

 

Recently, the US women’s national soccer team worked closely with advocates and politicians to pass an equal equity law, assuring equivalent pay to that of the men’s soccer team. Speaking of this, Becky Saurbrunn, U.S. women’s soccer team captain and three-time Olympian, said, “We hope that this Agreement and (will make) historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for national team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad” (NPR). 

 

While these new landmarks seem natural and appropriate, society has long gone under the premonition that women shouldn’t participate at all in sports. Kinesiology.com states, “While equal access to opportunity in sports is guaranteed under law, the fight for true equality continues to this day. At the Olympic level, women who performed well were often subject to gender confirmation exams from the 1968 Olympics until the late 90s, when the practice was officially abolished in 1999.”

 

In March of 2019, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) sued their proprietor – U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) – for repeated “pay discrimination” (NPR). In the team’s claim against USSF, they stated, “Men are so often paid and compensated on the potential that they show, not necessarily what they’ve done, and women are so often paid on what they’ve actually done” (NPR). However, in 2020, the case was denied – nonetheless, the team appealed the lawsuit recently and was then, at long last, guaranteed equal equity to that of the men’s U.S. soccer team. 

In an interview with LA Times, and speaking of the recently achieved fair equity agreement, World Cup Champion Cindy Cone said, “To be the first country to come to terms with both the men’s team and the women’s team and their [players associations] to equalize World Cup prize money and equalize everything, every economic term of the contract…[was] something I wanted to lead on. I’m just so proud that we’ve got to this moment.”