U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team midfielder Allie Long has had a whirlwind year: she helped lead her team to a World Cup Win in July, and is now in the midst of fighting for pay equity.
On Friday, a federal judge granted the team class-action status in its equal pay lawsuit. Members of the team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March over allegations of gender discrimination. The women’s players say they have been consistently been paid less than their male counterparts, despite superior performance.
In an interview on PIX11’s ‘Girl Talk,’ Long told reporter Katie Corrado that fighting for pay equity has been overwhelming in a good way.
“It’s a responsibility that I feel like we honor and we own it and we love it,” said Long. “And I don’t think we ever thought this fight would be immediate or fast, but it’s something that we knew that no matter how long it takes, we’re gonna do whatever we can in our power to do whatever we feel is right.”
Long said that she believes equal pay will one day be a reality, whether it’s for her teammates or the generation that follows.
“We deserve at this point that we should be paid equally for the same win that a man would get,” said Long.
Long called the class-action status a huge win for the team and remains cautiously optimistic.
“We’re not gonna get too ahead of ourselves,” said Long. “And of course, we’re all hopeful, and we hope that we can just come to an agreement eventually… I know U.S. Soccer is open for it and we’re open…We want to work with US soccer.”
Following her World Cup win, Allie’s wedding ring and key to the city were stolen from her hotel room while at the ESPYs in Los Angeles. In the interview, Allie discussed her new partnership with Great Heights, a lab-grown diamond company that “creates commitment pieces without compromise,” replacing her ring after it was stolen.