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Megan Rapinoe and US women's soccer stars fight for equal pay in new doc — see a 1st look

Go inside the U.S. women's national soccer team's efforts to be paid on equal footing.
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/ Source: TODAY

A new trailer for the documentary about the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s efforts to get equal pay shines a light on the players’ struggles to obtain fair compensation.

In 2019, the team filed a class-action, gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. In the film, titled “LFG,” players from the team's past and present, including Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara and Sam Mewis, speak out about their attempts to secure equal pay.

"The fight for equal pay has been going on since this team started," O'Hara says in the trailer.

Former USWNT star Julie Foudy, who played on the team from 1988-2004, also shares her experience in the documentary.

"The mindset back then was, 'You should just be grateful darlin' that you have a place to play,'" she says.

After pointing out "the story's the same everywhere," Rapinoe says, “Women get paid less to do the same job.”

"Even though I'm on the USA team, I have to coach to make ends meet. Child care is more than my paychecks," McDonald, who has been open about these financial struggles before, says.

"We were very frustrated and very angry," Sauerbrunn, a defender who has made over 180 appearances with the USWNT, says in the trailer.

Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe celebrate following their victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter final against France.Maddie Meyer / FIFA via Getty Images

The USWNT has enjoyed a stellar level of success over the years since the team formed in the 1980s, winning four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, but has lagged behind when it comes to compensation.

After winning the World Cup in 2019, the crowd began chanting "equal pay," and that's when McDonald said she "felt the movement."

"We've got the entire world on our side," Rapinoe says in the trailer.

“This emotional and cinematic film uncovers what it takes to be at the center of the biggest fight for women’s rights since Title IX,” reads a press release about the film.

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“'LFG' grants viewers unprecedented access to these game-changers as they meet the physical demands and pressures of being some of the world’s top athletes, while showcasing their courage, unflinching spirit and resiliency in an effort to create long-lasting social change,” it continues.

"If you want the world to look a certain way, you have to fight to get there," Mewis says in the trailer.

In March, members of the team joined President Joe Biden at the White House on "Equal Pay Day."

“Doesn’t matter if you’re an electrician, an accountant or part of the best damn soccer team in the world,” Biden said. “The pay gap is real. And this team is living proof that you can be the very best at what you do and still have to fight for equal pay.”

Last year, the U.S. Soccer Federation came to a settlement on working conditions with the USWNT in their lawsuit. The settlement, however, "does not address pay inequity after a judge ruled in May that the suit could only continue if it focused on working condition inequities between the U.S. women’s soccer team and the U.S. men’s soccer team," NBC News reported.

In April 2021, players on the USWNT appealed the decision against equal pay.

“For each win, loss and tie that women players secure, they are paid less than men who play the same sport and who do the same work; that is gender discrimination,” Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the players, said in a statement, NBC Sports reported. “A pervasive atmosphere of sexism drove this pay discrimination.”

“LFG,” directed by Academy Award winners Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, will be available to stream beginning June 24 on HBO Max.