The United State Women’s National Team locked arms with members of the Canadian Women’s National Team Thursday before the two squads faced each other in the SheBelieves Cup.
The Canadian side played Thursday’s game in protest as they are fighting to have the same level of support their male counterparts receive.
The battle for equal pay and treatment is one the U.S. squad knows all too well. Members of the squad clashed with U.S. Soccer officials for years before securing an agreement last year that saw players splitting earnings with the men’s team.
The teams wore purple tape in hopes of drawing attention to the issue.
“Given that this tournament was established to highlight gender equality, it will be the first time that the USWNT Players will be treated as equals,” the USWNT Players union said in a statement. “While we thank US Soccer for their leadership, we know that it took courage from our USWNT Players to stand together both in collective bargaining and through litigation.
“Although we are now on the other side of this fight and can focus on our play on the field, our counterparts in Canada and elsewhere are experiencing the same pervasive misogyny and unequal treatment that we faced. We stand with all women's footballers in calling attention to their collective fight, but also call on everyone to join and support the fight to eradicate ALL inequality and discrimination that exists in our sport.”
The Canadian side said their protest will continue.
"Considering the current circumstances, our players will continue to wear purple until our association has standards in place that ensure equal treatment and opportunity,” the Canadian Soccer Players' Association said.