While Serena Williams doesn’t follow soccer, the U.S. women’s national team caught her attention Friday with its lawsuit seeking equitable pay.

The players accuse the U.S. Soccer Federation of “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes unequal pay with men’s national team counterparts.

At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Williams praised the players who came before her to fight for equal prize money in tennis.

“I think at some point, in every sport, you have to have those pioneers, and maybe it’s the time for soccer,” she said. “I’m playing because someone else stood up, and so what they are doing right now is hopefully for the future of women’s soccer.”

The 28 members of the women’s player pool filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The USSF has not commented on the suit.

“We believe it is our duty to be the role models that we’ve set out to be and fight to what we know we legally deserve,” forward Christen Press said. “And hopefully in that way it inspires women everywhere.”

The lawsuit – the culmination of long-simmering concerns by players, highlights a global struggle for female athletes to achieve fair compensation, even if that doesn’t mean identical pay to males. Fair can include things like access to practice fields and changing rooms.

In tennis, many tournaments give equal prize money to men and women, in part due to pioneers like Billie Jean King, who called for equal prize money in the 1970s. She once proclaimed: “Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too.”

Two years ago, just before the U.S. women’s soccer team struck a collective bargaining agreement that gave players pay raises and better benefits, the women’s national hockey team won a better contract after taking the drastic step of threatening to sit out of the world championships.

“I have the utmost respect for the U.S. women’s soccer team and what they have always stood for,” said Meghan Duggan, one of the players who led the fight. “They have continued to lead the way in advancing women’s sports, and this is another example of their boldness and leadership.”

The men’s and women’s soccer teams have separate collective bargaining agreements and their pay is structured differently. That means there’s no simple dollar-to-dollar salary comparison. Terms of the CBAs have not been made public.

Compensation for the women includes a guaranteed salary and salaries paid by the USSF for their time with clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League. The men get paid based on appearances, roster selection for friendlies and tournaments, and collective performance. The USSF has cited the contracts, as well as the revenue generated by the teams, as the reason for the differences.

While the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association is not a party to the lawsuit, it issued a statement supporting the players’ goal of “eliminating gender-based discrimination by USSF.”

A group of five star players filed a complaint in 2016 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the federation.

The new lawsuit effectively ends that complaint, brought by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd and former goalkeeper Hope Solo.

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