"We've been able to really show the magnitude of the inequalities that we have in the sport," Alex Morgan told PEOPLE

By Carmen DiPippo
July 19, 2019 10:00 AM
Advertisement

After winning the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Alex Morgan and her teammates now believe that, more than ever, they have a job as role models for the next generation of champions.

“As a team, we are always trying to encourage and inspire the next generation of girls to play sports. And I think that we are doing our job in that way,” Morgan told PEOPLE.

The US Women’s National Team has made headlines this past year, throughout their constant fight for equal pay. In March, the team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation because they are not paid as much as the men’s team.

“We have this platform and we’ve been able to use that and really show the magnitude of the inequalities that we have in the sport,” Morgan said.

To start, Morgan is working with organizations like Dick’s Sporting Good through their Sports Matter initiative, in order to keep funding youth sports. She recently spoke at one of the organization’s panels in New York, recognizing how influential sports were in her childhood.

According to research findings by the Women’s Sports Foundation, 56 percent of teen girls don’t participate in sports, while that figure is 48 percent for teen boys. This can oftentimes be due to a lack of funding for women’s athletic programs in schools.

“There’s a lot of things in place that don’t set up girls and women to feel respected or have as much opportunity in sports,” Morgan noted.

Morgan was also recently named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2019, calling the honor a “dream.”

Following her recognition, soccer legend Mia Hamm wrote a heartfelt tribute to Morgan, recognizing her for acting as a positive role model for young female athletes.

“As the mother of 12-year-old twin daughters, I fully understand the impact that Alex makes on this next generation of young girls,” Hamm said. “Her commitment to set such a positive example for them is unmatched, and I am incredibly grateful that the future of our game is in such good hands.”