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Vermont high school girls' soccer team penalized for removing jerseys to reveal #EqualPay shirts

A Vermont high school girls' soccer team was penalized when several players removed their jerseys during a match to reveal shirts reading "#EqualPay."

The sign of protest at the Burlington High School girl's soccer match Friday came after the team scored a goal, with several players showing the message and receiving yellow cards in return, according to the Burlington Free Press.

The message is an ode to the movement started by the U.S. Women's National Team, which drew attention to the gender pay gap on their way to winning the World Cup over the summer.

"We want to show that we're all going to stand behind this issue and we're all going to fight for it together," Burlington High School freshman Lydia Sheeser told local news outlet WPTZ.

The yellow cards were received because league rules state players cannot take off their jerseys during matches or wear uniforms with slogans on them.

The team's coach and school principal were reportedly in support of the demonstration, which the players said was intended to spark continuing conversation on the matter.

"Even if you're wearing it to the grocery store or something, it's just bringing awareness and it's going to get people talking," Chloe De Bedout, a senior on the team, told WPTZ.

The soccer team has received orders for hundreds of their #EqualPay shirts, including from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife.

The team shared an image of the two on its Instagram account showing the couple wearing the shirts with the Capitol Building in the background.

Men purchasing the shirts are encouraged to pay 16 percent more as an example of the gender pay gap, with proceeds from sales going towards Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League, the Burlington Free Press reports.

"I think it takes everybody to really egg on a movement, so I thought we should help out in any way that we could," Burlington High senior Helen Worden said.

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