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Jess McDonald, Bella Bixby share economic realities of NWSL


After the NWSLPA launched the #NoMoreSideHustles campaign on Thursday in a push for fair compensation, many current and former NWSL players have taken to Twitter to detail their experiences.

North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald revealed that she used to work at Amazon packing boxes during 10 hour workdays. She would also train others and herself whilst raising her son.

Bella Bixby – who has had a breakout season so far – revealed that she’s often coached on the side, did ride-sharing and food delivery through Uber her rookie year, and even had to live with her parents for a year while playing in the NWSL.

Emily Menges detailed that all of the eight years that she’s played she’s worked at least two jobs during the season. “I’ll fight like crazy so the players who come next can just play soccer,” she wrote.

Former Washington Spirit forward Tiffany Weimer, who currently plays overseas, said “it would have improved my mental and physical health to focus solely on playing.”

Haley Carter, former Houston Dash reserve goalkeeper, tweeted that she worked so much “that the NWSL was the side hustle.”

Houston Dash defender Gabrielle Seiler detailed her experiences working at OrangeTheory her rookie year and waking up at 3:30 a.m. “just to try and make extra money to live, while trying to be a professional and go to practice after.” Seiler tore her ACL that year, causing her to miss the 2018 season.

Caroline Stanley Means tweeted out that “professional athletes, regardless of gender, shouldn’t have to work 2, 3, and 4 jobs to support themselves.”

Yael Averbuch West, former Seattle Reign FC defender and current executive director of the NWSLPA, said that herself and her teammates did “all kinds of crazy things to make ends meet” and that the old “reality” of women’s professional soccer “needs to change.”