Kristine Lilly "Proud" Of Equal-Pay Crusade

The two-time World Cup champion reflected on the national team's humble beginnings, as well as the current team's push for equality

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 12, 2019 - 9:18 am
Alex Morgan Women's World Cup

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As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team continues its lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, Kristine Lilly reflected on just how far the program has come in recent decades. Lilly, 47, played on the team’s 1991 and 1999 World Cup title teams.

“We were part of the beginning when we weren’t getting paid,” Lilly said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Then we were getting $10 a day and then we finally were like, ‘Wow, this doesn’t seem right.’ We stood up for that and started the process of being paid. We did the process, and this team is just continuing it to say, ‘Hey, we want respect. We want you to know that we need to be treated equally.’ These players have the platform to do it.”

While Lilly supports the players’ crusade for equal pay, she did acknowledge the strides U.S. Soccer has made through the years.

“U.S. Soccer, out of all the federations in the world, they were the ones that have stepped up first, and I think they’ve moved further along than a lot of the other federations,” she said. “But we still want to continue to go. Yeah, they doubled the prize money from $2 million to $4 million, but it’s still a drastic difference from the men’s, which is like $30 million. They’re still trying to make the right stand in FIFA and they’re putting forth the effort to do it; it’s just taking a little bit longer than women are happy with. 

“I’m proud of what they’re standing for to keep the ball moving in the right direction,” Lilly continued, “not only standing up for the U.S. women’s soccer team, but all these decisions and stands they’re making affect the other countries. It gives them a platform, and it’s really going to help the game overall to get the support and respect that it needs.”

Lilly also discussed her new book, “Powerhouse: 13 Teamwork Tactics that Build Excellence and Unrivaled Success.” Click below to listen to her interview in its entirety.