Vermont girls soccer team penalized for wearing ‘equal pay’ shirts

Members of a girls high school varsity soccer team in Vermont were reportedly penalized for wearing “#equalpay” shirts in protest of the state’s gender wage gap.

The demonstration unfolded last Friday when four players from Burlington High School Seahorses took off their jerseys after going ahead by a goal to reveal the shirts, CNN reported.

The four players were given yellow cards by the ref since Vermont’s high school athletic rules prohibit players from wearing clothing emblazoned with slogans, teammate Lydia Sheeser, 14, told the network.

But besides the penalty, the equal pay demonstration was widely celebrated.

“The refs issued yellow cards to those four, at which point the crowd started to chant ‘Equal pay! Equal pay!’ just like in the Women’s World Cup this summer,” Sheeser said.

The girls partnered with a local group called Change The Story, which advocates for women’s economic equality, to make the shirts.

“So right now, in Vermont, the wage gap is $0.16, which means that women earn $0.84 to the dollar that the men do on average,” said Jessica Nordhaus, Lydia’s mom and a Change the Story member.

“We’re working to close that … so that when BHS girls soccer players are out in the world working full-time, they will be making equal pay for equal work.”

The shirts cost $25 for women. Men can also purchase them for an additional $4, representing the wage gap, Maia Vota, 18, a Seahorses co-captain told CNN.

So far, more than 1,000 orders have been placed, the team said, even from the school’s boys soccer team.

The referee who carded the players even purchased a shirt.

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