In this essay for Cosmopolitan, Alex Morgan writes about growing up in a household where “my mom and my dad shared equally in the responsibilities of the family and our home, and always demonstrated the importance of men and women having an equal role.”
A gifted, versatile athlete from an early age, Morgan “rarely felt or noticed any real divide between girls and boys. … Maybe it was because I was so involved in sports and competed with the boys. Maybe it was my mom and dad, who constantly instilled confidence in me and never made me feel as though there were boy activities and girl activities.”
That upbringing helps explain why Morgan — at 26, already a leader among her teammates — was among the U.S. players who initiated a legal challenge to the pay inequities and other discriminatory practices at U.S. Soccer.
“Equal pay for equal play. It’s a pretty simple concept,” she writes. “But as with so many professions in the United States, it is still not a reality for the female soccer players who represent this country.”