Taylor Swift took another stand in an important issue during Sunday night's Teen Choice Awards. The "You Need to Calm Down" singer voiced her support for Alex Morgan and the U.S. Women's Soccer National Team in their gender pay gap dispute. Morgan presented Swift with the first ever Icon Award during the ceremony at Hermosa Beach, California.
“We have a lot to talk about. Wow. First I want to talk about Alex Morgan. The fact that she’s here presenting this to me is such an honor,” Swift, 29, said in her acceptance speech, reports Us Weekly. "While they were winning the World Cup they were also taking a historic stand in terms of gender equality, gender pay gap. Please, please, please support her and her teammates because this isn’t over yet. It’s not resolved."
Swift continued, "What happened to them is unfair, it’s happening everywhere and they are heroes and icons for standing up.”
Swift went on to thank fans and reminded them that her new album, Lover, will be released on Aug. 23. She also announced that the title track will be released as a single on Friday.
“I think one thing I wish I would have known when I was a teen are mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes you think if you try hard enough to make every decision perfectly, you think you can possibly you can ace life and never make mistakes," Swift said. "But it’s normal to make mistakes."
She later added, "If you’re out there and you’re being really hard on yourself right now for something that’s happened, or messing up or feeling embarrassed, it’s normal. That’s what going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We’re all going to have a few scratches on us. … Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.”
Despite being much more successful than the U.S. Men's national soccer team, the USWNT players are paid much less than the men. Even before they won their second consecutive FIFA World Cup in July, all 28 players filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March, notes CBS Sports.
According to the lawsuit, the top women's player earns 38 percent of what a top men's player can earn, with a $164,320 gap.
On Equal Pay Day in April, Morgan penned an essay for Cosmopolitan, dedicating herself to the equal pay fight.
"This is not about the women's team going after the men's team, or comparing stats and records with them," Morgan wrote. "We love those guys, and they have come out publicly in support of our filing and have offered to help however possible. They have also fought their way to better compensation, and without them fighting for what they have, we would have no general benchmark for what we deserve: equal pay for equal play. It's a pretty simple concept. 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."
The USWNT has won four FIFA World Cups, more than any other country's national women's soccer team. They also won Gold at the 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. The men's soccer team has never won the FIFA World Cup and have not medaled at an Olympics since 1904.
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