The changing situations and factors have made Crystal Dunn divert herself into something honest, reasonable, and challenging. She now found her voice applying to take good against the bad with the new vice-president and secretary of the US Women’s National Team Players’ Association.
Those factors that made her realize and take action were the unrest following Jacob Blake’s shooting last year, the pandemic, to the national team’s ongoing fight for equal pay.
As the new vice-president and secretary of the US Women’s National Team Players’ Association, she is now actively working in negotiations for a new labor contract.
Dunn feels it’s essential to speak out as a woman of color and to use that voice at the negotiating table. But it’s taken her out of her comfort zone. Yet, she is doing it.
“I think at times I’ve wanted to just stay behind the scenes and just do my thing, play the sport that I love without distractions and other things going on,” Crystal Dunn said.
“But I think 2020, like the rest of the world, has made us realize that it’s OK to hit pause and focus on other things and narrow in on other things that you’re passionate about.”
With the union, Dunn has to navigate something different from playing time as the current agreement expires on December 31.
At the negotiating table, she joins players’ association President Becky Sauerbrunn and Sam Mewis, vice-president and treasurer. The group has three overarching goals: Equality and fairness in compensation, respect in professional working conditions, and balance between club and international duties.
It’s been an evolution for the 29-year-old player. After being on the last cuts list for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she didn’t lose hope; moreover, instead of blaming herself, she regained her confidence and place. Dunn got into the Washington Spirit club team, scoring 15 goals in 20 games, and won the Golden Boot award and Most Valuable Player the following year. Dunn was named then one of 18 spots on the 2016 Olympic team. Since then, she has been a regular and was in the squad that won the 2019 World Cup final.
US Soccer announced the offering of the women’s and men’s senior national teams’ identical contracts. The federation also proposed that the men and women hammer out the equitable distribution of World Cup prize money, a big sticking point!
Dunn plays professionally for the Portland Thorns. And now she is hopeful of getting a new contract by the end of the year.