(NEW YORK) — As the U.S. women’s national soccer team prepares to pursue a third straight Women’s World Cup, the squad is being honored for a different fight.
The team is set to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY Awards next month for its fight for equal pay with the men’s soccer team, Good Morning America announced exclusively on Wednesday.
The award is presented to someone whose contributions transcend sports, such as the team’s lengthy three-year legal battle that ended last year with an agreement to pay all players the same. The women’s team has used its platform to bring global attention to pay inequity and social injustice in the U.S.
Megan Rapinoe, Team USA’s star forward, said Tuesday at a press conference before the World Cup that she thinks women’s sports are on the verge of something much bigger.
“It feels like this is a paradigm shift, or a moment we’ll look back to, and say nothing was ever the same after this Women’s World Cup and what we’re gonna be able to do,” Rapinoe said. “All bets on the Women’s World Cup.”
The U.S. broke its own record for the most FIFA Women’s World Cup wins of any country with four titles after the 2019 competition in France and joined Germany as the only other country with back-to-back titles.
After its historic World Cup win and ticker tape parade celebration in 2019, the squad took home best team at the ESPY Awards. Alex Morgan also took home best female athlete.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand in three weeks and the 2023 ESPY Awards are on July 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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