Andy Scholes walks through US Soccer’s landmark equal pay deal and the potential effect on players
US Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis, who signed the Equal Pay Act as head coach in 2013, looks at a letter given by her first daughter, Megan, to her mother, Carol, who served as an U.S. senator from Indiana. READ THE LETTER HERE
Jill Ellis has never forgotten the women of the USA, nor their desire for equal pay for equal work. In the years after she started coaching the U.S. women’s national team, she met with each of the team’s star athletes and, at the suggestion of team captain Alex Morgan, decided to put forward a resolution for the U.S. Soccer Federation in support of equal pay.
Ellis became the first head coach to sign the Equal Pay Act when she was hired by national team coach Pia Sundhage, who led the team to World Cup victory in 2015 before stepping down. Ellis then worked with Sundhage on her Equal Pay Resolution, which the women’s team followed with a similar resolution for the men’s team. She also worked on a law to guarantee that men’s and women’s professional teams would have to have the same pay practices.
“I was the only head coach that did not sign the Equal Pay Act,” Ellis told The Equal Pay Act Project. “I’m here because I really believe in it.”
Ellis met with the team and the men’s team and heard their experiences during the 2015 World Cup, when the U.S. won their first World Cup since 1986, and then in last year’s bid to bring the World Cup to North America.
“We said what they said, that it would help us have a stronger bond with our fans,” Ellis said.
“It’s an honor to be here with you,” said Morgan, the team’s captain, who is now a sports agent. “We’re very grateful for all the work they’ve done, and for the support they’ve given us as women’s national team members.”
Ellis has since been joined by U.S. Soccer president Sunil