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U.S. women’s soccer stars discuss wage-discrimination complaint

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Five star U.S. women’s soccer players are filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking equal pay with their male counterparts.

U.S. Olympic champions Carli LloydHope SoloAlex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn appeared on TODAY to discuss the move Thursday morning (video here). Megan Rapinoe was also involved in the complaint.

U.S. women are paid between $3,600 and $4,950 per game, while men receive $6,250 to $17,625. Women receive 44 percent of what their male counterparts earn for making the World Cup team, according to TODAY, citing the complaint.

“We’ve proven our worth over the years,” said Lloyd, whose hat trick propelled the U.S. to victory in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final. “The pay disparity between men and women is just too large. We want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought, and now it’s our job to keep on fighting.”

Solo said “not much has changed” with regards to equal-pay issues in the decade-plus she’s been on the national team.

“We’ve continued to be told we should be grateful just to have an opportunity to play professional soccer,” Solo said. “It’s about equality. It’s about equal rights. It’s about equal pay.”

Their attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, said that players were told “it was irrational” when they asked for the same treatment as men’s players.

Morgan was asked by Matt Lauer if players would boycott games or strike.

“I think that’s why we’re here taking this action and filing this complaint,” Morgan responded ahead of the Rio Olympics, which begin Aug. 3 for women’s soccer. “Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much. We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high last summer. We’re asking and demanding now that our federation, our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”

On TODAY, the players laughed when asked if they had heard from male players.

“I’m sure they are in support of us,” said Morgan, whose husband, Servando Carrasco, plays in MLS.

Kessler said that in 2015 the U.S. women’s national team made over $16 million for U.S. Soccer, while the men’s team caused a $2 million loss. Last year was a World Cup year for the women, but not for the men.

“We are disappointed about this action,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “We have been a world leader in women’s soccer and are proud of the commitment we have made to building the women’s game in the United States over the past 30 years.”

MORE: Carli Lloyd ranks Olympic final-winning goals, World Cup hat trick

Genzebe Dibaba, 1500m world record holder, to miss world championships

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Genzebe Dibaba, the 1500m world record holder, will miss the world track and field championships that start next week due to a right foot injury, according to her agency.

The Ethiopian Dibaba lowered the 1500m world record to 3:50.07 in 2015, then won the world title a month later. Kenyan Faith Kipyegon relegated her to silver at the Rio Olympics. Dibaba was last in the 12-woman final at the 2017 Worlds, then withdrew from the 5000m at that meet, citing illness.

Dibaba’s absence further opens the door for Americans Shelby Houlihan (second-fastest in the world last year) and Jenny Simpson, the Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist.

Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan is fastest in the world this year and broke the mile world record on July 12. Hassan has range from 800m through 10,000m, and it’s not guaranteed she will contest the 1500m in Doha starting with the first round Oct. 2.

The event is already lacking Caster Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800m champion who took bronze in her world 1500m debut in 2017. Semenya is excluded from races from 400m through the mile under the IAAF’s new rule capping testosterone in those events.

MORE: U.S. roster for track and field worlds

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How to watch, stream U.S. International Classic on NBC Sports Gold

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The U.S. International Figure Skating Classic gets underway in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend and NBC Sports Gold’s “Figure Skating Pass” will be live streaming all of the action.

The event is the third stop of the ISU’s Challenger Series and often serves as a warm-up for Grand Prix events for skaters, which start in October.

The men’s field is headlined by world bronze medalist and 2018 Olympian Vincent Zhou, joined by the 2019 world junior bronze medalist in the ladies’ event, Ting Cui. Reigning U.S. pairs champions Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc will make their season debut in Salt Lake. And in ice dance, Four Continents gold medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates are slated to compete.

Check out the schedule below (all times Eastern):

Friday, Sept. 19

8:30 p.m.: Pairs’ short program (LINK)

10 p.m.: Men’s short program (LINK)

Saturday, Sept. 20

4:30 p.m.: Rhythm dance (LINK)

6:15 p.m.: Ladies’ short program (LINK)

8:35 p.m.: Pairs’ short program (LINK)

10:30 p.m.: Men’s free skate (LINK)

Sunday, Sept. 21

6:25 p.m.: Free dance (LINK)

8:15 p.m.: Ladies’ free skate (LINK)

MORE: Vincent Zhou to attend Brown University, details new skating situation

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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