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Today is the first day that the US men and the US women's soccer teams will be paid the same. The US women have won four gold medals in the World Cup and four in the Olympics. The US men finished third in the World Cup in 1930.

It is appropriate to celebrate a moment when equity prevails, but it is also appropriate to look at the enormous efforts that were put in place to prevent this from happening.

The men's version of soccer was better than the women's version according to legal arguments made by US Soccer. The organization argued that it couldn't pay the women's team more because they weren't valued.

Despite the fact that the US women are more successful than the American men, these bad-faith points were made. The athletes who play for the women's team became household names when the games drew higher television ratings. There are many generations of them; Mia, Julie, Brandi, Briana, Kristine, Hope, Carli, and Megan.

The lawyers were one group that US Soccer was willing to pay for.

The US Soccer team was the focus of many opportunities for the women. The manufacturer ran out of team jerseys earlier in the World Cup run because of a low initial order. It was framed as a feel-good story about how popular the team was, rather than an economic story about leaving money on the table in the women's sports space. Again.

Men's soccer had to restructure their own deal to make this happen. It is difficult for people who benefit from inequality to even recognize that. Whether it is due to race, gender, social class or any other reason, people are more likely to think they earned what they got by pulling up some mythical bootstraps than to acknowledge the inequity baked into these systems.

The women's team and their fans made this one hard to ignore. The crowd at the World Cup games in France chanted for equal pay. The 4th World Cup win brought glory, but not the actual wealth that a men's win would bring. If the men's team ever gets close to winning.

Sometimes hard work pays off when you take a day and celebrate. It is possible to modify systems to keep a group from reaching their value. Women in the sports space face an uphill battle with broadcasters, sponsors, and traditional sports media outlets.

According to a USC/Purdue study, SportsCenter devoted just 5.7 percent of its time to women's sports news and highlights. The number is inflated because it was the Women's World Cup year.

The 50th anniversary of Title IX will be celebrated in June, and I attended a TedXBoston event on Monday. In her talk, Just Women's Sports CEO Haley Rosen mentioned the fact that in 1878, pedestrianist Ada Anderson walked 2,700 quarter miles in 27 hours. The tickets were raised from 25 cents to 50 cents because the event was so popular.

The Canyon of Heroes was the site of a ticker-tape parade in the late 19th century.

Women's sports have always been compelling. It's a choice between covering them or paying them. After World War II, a hardening of gender boundaries made it hard for women to play sports.

There are many people who prefer sports without women, and often those are the people who negotiate the contracts and short-changing women on marketing deals. The attitude has been baked into contracts for a long time. It is a legacy that the women today have to deal with and, in rare cases, can be overcome.

Like the women who play sports. It is to their competitive spirit, on the field as represented by all those trophies and medals, and off of it, which will now be tangible in the paychecks they earn.