On Monday, Olympian and SFC Board Member Hope Solo and West Virginia University Women's Soccer Coaches Lisa Stoia and Nikki Izzo-Brown wrote Senators Maria Cantwell (D WA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R WW) calling for the reintroduction of the Equal Pay for Team USA Act. If this bill passes, it will give all Olympian athletes the equality they deserve. Solo, Stoia, and Izzo-Brown call for the reintroduction as Team USA prepares for Tokyo.
Solo is a Richland, Washington native who played collegiately at the University of Washington and has represented the United States on the international stage. Solo has dedicated her life to soccer and has led the fight for equality in sport for the past six years.
"The Equal Pay for Team USA Act isn't about me," wrote Solo. "It's about the next generation of American Champions who should be free to focus on the game they love and not the political game of gender equality."
Another big name fighting for gender equality is Stoia, former Division 1 athlete and head coach for her alma mater West Virginia University. After spending the last 15 years coaching the sport she loves, Stoia has seen both college athletes and aspiring Olympians by coaching U-19 WYNT camps. Stoia has seen the work and determination that goes into these athletes and wants to help make a change from her years of experience.
"As a coach to these women, it upsets me that they are rarely treated equally with the men who represent the United States," said Stoia.
As the head coach of West Virginia University, Izzo-Brown has spent the past 27 years helping push women athletes to be the best they can be and has witnessed firsthand the inequality in this sport from both an athlete and a coach. In her time at WVU, Izzo-Brown has had many professional athletes come out of her program and has seen all of the hard work that was put into becoming these top athletes and sees an issue with the fact that women are not given equal pay, benefits, and treatment as their male counterparts.
"I have witnessed this fight for decades, and my wish is that the next generation of athletes I coach no longer worry about equality," explained Izzo-Brown.
After years of suffering through inequality, these women are ready to make the change that is so long overdue and hope that what they have gone through inspires change within Team USA.
You can read the letter here.