Hope Solo and the USA Women's Soccer Team demand equality for female athletes

One Young World Counsellor Hope Solo and her teammates refused to play an international soccer match on Sunday 7 December, citing unsafe playing conditions. The match against Trinidad & Tobago was part of the USA team's victory tour following their historic World Cup win this summer.

The below standard Astroturf pitches that female athletes are forced to play on have become a symbol of the inequalities between men's and women's sport.

“Our federation continues to put us into subpar and unsafe playing conditions compared to the men, and we decided it was time to stand against that,” Hope Solo told BuzzFeed News.

Hope is a veteran athlete who has played on the USA Women's team for 16 years. She spoke at the One Young World Summit about attitudes towards women's sport.

"There is still so much work to be done. Yes, we won the World Cup. We had 22 million viewers tuning into the Final compared to 15.9 million in the men's NBA Final. Our Women's World Cup was played on turf in Canada. You would never, ever imagine a Men's World Cup on turf, they are always on grass."

"40% of athletes in America are women, but women only receive 4% of media coverage and only 0.5% of advertising money. Women's sport is here to stay but we still have our challenges - and we have so much room for growth - not just in America but globally."



The USA Women's Team published a full statement on The Tribune:

"On Friday at practice, we lost a teammate, Megan Rapinoe, to an ACL injury. Megan’s injury took place while playing on a subpar training field. The grass on the training pitch itself was in bad shape. All along the pitch, sewer plates and plastic coverings were laying on the sidelines."

"We have become so accustomed to playing on whatever surface is put in front of us. But we need to realize that our protection — our safety — is priority No. 1. At the end of the day, we expect to be treated equally as our male counterparts. And we hope that, in the future, our fields and our venues will be chosen and inspected at the standard of an international match — whether it’s men or women playing on the field."

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