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United States vs Canada

USWNT and Canada wear purple and white tape for SheBelieves Cup clash to show support for gender equality and trans rights

6:37 PM EST 2/16/23
Morgan USWNT 2023
The U.S. women's national team and Canada came together to wear armbands to show support for transgender rights and gender equality.
  • USWNT and Canada wear armbands
  • Purple tape to send message for gender equality
  • White tape with 'Defend Trans Joy'

WHAT HAPPENED? The two sides united amid an ongoing protest by the Canadian players, with the USWNT players showing support in recent days following its own fight for equal pay.

Canadian players originally were going to skip the SheBelieves Cup in protest of their federation's budget cuts but were forced to play under the threat of litigation.

WHAT THEY SAID: "At the start of the 8th edition of the SheBelieves Cup, our players are united in continuing to raise awareness on issues of equality," the USWNT Players Association said in a statement. "The USWNT Players and Canadian players will wear both purple tape, in the name of gender equality, and white tape with 'Defend Trans Joy'.

"Given that this tournament was established to highlight gender equality, it will be the first time that the USWNT Players will be treated as equals. While we thank US Soccer for the leadership, we know that it took courage from our USWNT Players to stand together both in collective bargaining and through litigation. Although we are now on the other side of this fight and can focus on our play on the field, our counterparts in Canada and elsewhere are experiencing the same pervasive misogyny and unequal treatment that we faced. We stand with all women's footballers in calling attention to their collective fight, but also call on everyone to join and support the fight to eradicate ALL inequality and discrimination that exists in our sport."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Canada's Players Associated added: "Tonight, our players will be wearing purple as a symbol of protest. Purple has historically been associated with efforts to achieve gender equality. Considering the current circumstances, our players will continue to wear purple until our association has standards in place that ensure equal treatment and opportunity."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The two teams are joined by Brazil and Japan in the SheBelieves Cup, which was originally inspired by the USWNT's run through the 2015 World Cup. It began the next year and has been held across the U.S. in an effort to empower young girls, whether their passion is athletics or elsewhere.

WHAT NEXT FOR USWNT? After Thursday's match against Canada, the U.S. will face Japan on Sunday before taking on Brazil on Wednesday.