Hope Solo’s suspension from the United States national team has her on the sidelines as the team’s collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer approaches a Saturday expiration. Being on the outside looking in at the negotiations has not stopped the World Cup winning goalkeeper from voicing her opinion. Wednesday, Solo penned an article for GOOD Magazine in which she discussed the CBA negotiations and the players’ claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleges wage discrimination by U.S. Soccer.
In the article Solo says, regarding the EEOC claim, “…it’s something I intend to go full force forward with.”
Other points of interest include Solo’s take on U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati’s role in the negotiations.
Federation President Sunil Gulati and U.S. Soccer are putting pressure on the players. I know that’s happening. I’ve seen many different CBA negotiations during my time on the team, and the federation’s approach has not changed one bit. Their strategy is to instill fear in the players—to divide and conquer us. I had a great relationship with Sunil, to be honest, and he would reach out to me often. But he’s also good at what he does, and he tries to get close to the players to smooth them over.
You can’t be friendly with Sunil and hope to push for change. True equality is not going to be given, it’s not going to be bargained for. We have to take it and stand fully for what we’ve earned.
She also referenced America’s position as a leader in what she hopes is a fight for equal pay for female soccer players and athletes around the world. She discussed the Olympic group match against Colombia that ended in a draw but of her opponents that day said: “…they’re not getting paid adequately. They barely get new boots to play in, they barely have enough soccer balls, they barely have fields to train on. How are they going to continue to grow at the same rate their men’s team is growing?”
We have to push for all of women’s sports, not just here in America. And that’s why the Americans have to fight first. We are the front-runners and if we can push for change, we can set a precedent that will lead other federations to follow suit.
Solo is suspended until late February and also had her U.S. Soccer contract terminated. In a recent interview with the Associated Press Solo said she believes her firing was a way to keep her away from the table during the current negotiations. The CBA expired Saturday night but will continue to be honored unless either side gives 60-days notice they intend to pull out and begin a work stoppage. As of last week neither side had done that.