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By Marisa Iati Marisa Iati Email Bio Follow June 12 at 12:49 PM The tipping point may have been the sixth goal. Or the seventh. Or the 13th, which turned out to be the last goal scored in the U.S. women’s national team’s handy defeat of Thaila

The tipping point may have been the sixth goal. Or the seventh. Or the 13th, which turned out to be the last goal scored in the U.S. women’s national team’s handy defeat of Thailand in their first World Cup game.

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Whichever goal it was that fans thought should have been the last for ecstatic celebration by the likes of Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan on Tuesday, the debate over the players’ sliding, kicking and group hugging drew attention to another issue: the 38 cents on the dollar that the women are paid compared to the men’s team.

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On International Women’s Day in March, all 28 members of the women’s team filed a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging they do the same job as the men’s team in exchange for lower wages and inferior working conditions. The men’s national team has never won a world title and did not qualify for last year’s World Cup.

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[ Double-earners: The U.S. women’s soccer team is fighting for greater equity while playing for a fourth World Cup title. ]

The women have been fighting for fair pay for years. Five of them filed a wage-discrimination complaint in 2016 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces civil-rights laws in the workplace. Some of them then made the rounds on major television networks to plead their case.

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As Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote , the women’s performance on Tuesday is likely only to make it harder for U.S. Soccer to keep defending its current pay structure:

Just imagine how that record-setting 13-0 victory over Thailand will play at a jury trial. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching lawyers for the soccer federation try to justify why the U.S. Women’s National Team, with their air rifles for legs, are paid 38 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts and had to sue for fair wages. It’s going to be pure entertainment listening to federation president Carlos Cordeiro stammer out an explanation on the witness stand of why this team, which is nothing short of an American damn treasure, isn’t worth equal coin to a men’s squad that can’t beat Jamaica.

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With attention turned to the women’s achievements, politicians, athletes, writers and others weighed in on the pay gap. Defenders of the difference pointed to the significantly higher revenue generated by the men’s World Cup, compared with the women’s event

The 2010 men’s World Cup brought in about $4 billion, CBS reported , while the women’s World Cup in 2011 earned about $73 million. The men’s players got 9 percent of their event’s total revenue, while the women’s team got 13 percent of theirs, according to CBS

Other celebrities and public figures — including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — expressed frustration with the gender pay gap, arguing that the women’s performance makes them worthy of at least as much money as the men:

Kellyanne Conway on wether the US Women’s National soccer team should be paid equally to the men: “I believe as a general principle that equal pay for equal work is the way to go.” pic.twitter.com/C4JXxS7l92

— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) June 12, 2019 The @USWNT is #1 in the world & contributes higher revenues for @USSoccer than the men’s team, but they’re still paid a fraction of what the men earn. Women deserve equal pay for equal (or better!) work in offices, factories, AND on the soccer field. https://t.co/ftOSrjRyOE

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 11, 2019 Here's an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men's team.

Congratulations, #USWNT !

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 11, 2019 As the U.S. Women’s National Team takes the field against Thailand today, the players are also fighting to be paid equally. Let’s not forget the fight off the field. It’s time we pay our USWNT equally. https://t.co/KHqBcFB9RW

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 11, 2019 What can we do in the Senate to support the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team @USWNT ?

Pass paycheck fairness

We shouldn’t say to generations of girls who look up to these talented stars that women’s sports is in any way less than

Go Team USA! Beat Thailand! #OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/iI61qBUcTu

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 11, 2019 [ The U.S. women’s national team is an American treasure. Pay them a bounty. Add to list ]

The @USWNT just scored more goals in ONE GAME (13) than the men's team did in their last three World Cups COMBINED

Our point stands. #USWNT https://t.co/fvzcJlt23y

— National Women's Law Center (@nwlc) June 11, 2019 13 goals = 13 more reasons women deserve equal pay in the workplace

— Dan Reynolds (@DanReynolds) June 12, 2019 we really out here paying men more when the #USWNT just scored 13 goals and got the all time world record for the most world cup goals in one match pic.twitter.com/0Lo8ned19v

— FB FT (@CPressSZN) June 11, 2019 so these women train for their lives to get to the world cup and then have to listen to male commentators tell them to pull back when they're winning. have a seat. #USWNT pic.twitter.com/ZXfh8zTFx9

— Kyle Krieger (@kylekrieger) June 11, 2019 The USWNT scored 13 World Cup goals today

The USMNT has scored 13 World Cup goals in the past 6,202 days. #PayThem

— Ginger Gibson (@GingerGibson) June 11, 2019 Read more:

Did USWNT players celebrate their goals with too much gusto? World Cup rout sparks debate.

Women’s World Cup results, schedule and standings

For Thailand women’s soccer team, 13 goals by U.S. are just growing pains

U.S. women’s soccer is relentless — and unapologetic — in World Cup-record rout of Thailand

The U.S. women’s unreal 13-goal World Cup win, by the numbers

Marisa Iati Marisa Iati is a graduate student in investigative journalism at American University. She previously worked at The Star-Ledger and NJ.com in New Jersey, where she covered municipal mayhem, community issues, education and crime. Follow

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