Soccer Team Penalized for #EqualPay Jerseys | Athletic Business

Soccer Team Penalized for #EqualPay Jerseys

A Vermont high school soccer team was dealt automatic yellow cards on Friday for displaying t-shirts with a #equalpay slogan. 

The Burlington Free Press reports that the Burlington High School girls soccer team celebrated a goal by pulling off their uniform tops to reveal white jerseys with the slogan on them, joining in the effort started by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to call attention to the gender wage gap. 

Referees issued yellow cards to four Burlington players, as required by rule for anyone removing a jersey during a game. Opposing South Burlington scored the equalizer two minutes after the penalties, and went on to win the game — but the stunt was no less effective. The crowd began chanting the slogan, and many of them were wearing #equalpay jerseys of their own, part of a fundraising campaign spearheaded by the soccer team. More than 500 jerseys were sold, including to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and his wife, Marcelle

The girls soccer team at Burlington reportedly got the boys soccer team involved, and provided them with the white jerseys for them to wear during warmups. The boys team celebrated in a recent game in a similar fashion, but avoided being penalized.

“When they scored, they lifted (their jersey) up but didn’t actually take it off,” BHS player Maggie Barlow told the Free Press. “They ended up being really enthusiastic about it and that’s been like my favorite part.”

The fundraising campaign sold the #equalpay jerseys for $25 each, but invited men who wished to participate to pay 16 percent more — a figure which represents the average disparity of incomes between men and women in the state. 

The Free Press reports that the campaign continues, and 300 more #equalpay jerseys are on order. Funds will go to support the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League, specifically with the goal of alleviating some transportation issues that prevent girls from certain neighborhoods from participating.

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