The world champion U.S. women's national soccer team asked a federal judge on Thursday to clear the way for it to strike over alleged pay inequities just two months before the start of the Summer Olympic Games.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, who heard arguments in Chicago from lawyers for the players' union and for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), didn't say when she might rule, The Associated Press reported.
The hearing came on the same day that the U.S. Senate passed by voice vote a non-binding resolution calling on the USSF to "immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve."
The USSF claims that members of the team implicitly promised not to strike in a 2013 agreement. Lawyers for the union say any such pledge, if it existed, wasn't in writing and can't be enforced.
"If this case continues, if the dispute continues, then there is a probability that the greatest women's soccer team in the world will not be participating in the Olympics," which open in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5, Lester Munson, a legal affairs writer for ESPN, told NBC Chicago.