Morgan Brian is the take-no-prisoners nice girl feminist who is changing the way Americans look at women’s soccer.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock without access to the Internet or anyone who talks about sports, you’re probably already aware of the major soccer star wage gap story surrounding the Women’s US National Team. If not, I’ll sum it up succinctly for you– the men’s team is paid vastly more, mostly because they’re men, while the women’s team is bringing home the success ‘bacon’ so to speak (racking up win after win after victory after victory) and somehow gets paid a fraction of their male counterparts. Why? Well, because that’s just sometimes the way the female cookie crumbles in this still-evolving world, but the women of the US National Team aren’t having that as an excuse. They’re stepping up to bring women’s athletics to new levels of both public respect and financial reward. Morgan Brian, America’s favorite midfielder, is leading the charge.
“My mom always taught me to stand up for what I believe in and to say something when you don’t think is right,” she shared with me one afternoon, smack in the middle of the controversy. “I believe strongly in things and don’t back down, and in this pay wage war is putting our foot down and having it be lasting.”
The on-field victories have been met with some off-field ones too, though, including her partnership with Chobani, who clearly seems to think that female athletes are every bit as important as any other type out there, and goes to show that the women’s team members are getting creative when it comes to filling that enormous wage gap.
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“Their campaign is perfect for me as an athlete, because i’ve always surrounded myself with positivity– and that goes for the food in my body, too. Their campaign is all about ‘no bad stuff’ and it’s so important to have tons of protein as athlete.”
Morgan, or ‘Moe’ as her friends and teammates call her, also thinks it’s time to wipe the ‘bad stuff’ out of athletics. That means starting with biased views on who should and shouldn’t make a career out of athletics, and encouraging girls of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds to participate.
[ US Soccer ]
“I think it’s definitely going to take time to get women and men to level. When I was a little girl a woman couldn’t even be a full time soccer player, as a full time career. I feel doing this and standing up for the rights of female soccer players is my way of helping to pave the way for younger women. It’s already come a long way, but we’re doing right now is helping in the sports world. Women need to be paid the same way.”
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Morgan Brian’s enthusiasm for female success everywhere doesn’t just cover the soccer field and stadiums, though, she’s aiming at the way girls feel about themselves from early on in life.
“I want to tell girls to just remember to be strong. Actively tell yourself to be strong when you’re chasing whatever you’re going after, and keep going after things you feel passionate about.”