US women’s soccer team dismisses offer for equal pay to men as a ‘PR stunt’ by the US Soccer Federation
- The USSF offer of equal pay for its men’s and women’s teams is just a publicity stunt, according to the US Women’s National Team Players Association
- The two sides have been at odds since the USWNTPA sued the USSF for gender pay discrimination in 2019. The US women were seeking $66 million
- The USSF announced its latest offer as part of an effort it said was to align the women’s and men’s national teams under one collective bargaining agreement
- The USWNTPA responded to the offer on Twitter: ‘USSF’s PR stunts and bargaining through the media will not bring us any closer to a fair agreement
- The USWNT sued US soccer’s governing body in 2019 over allegations of gender discrimination in pay, working conditions, and publicity
- The lawsuit was dismissed but the US women’s team has since appealed
- The USWNT’s current labour agreement expires at the end of 2021 while the men’s team have been operating under the terms of a deal that expired in 2018
- The US men and women’s teams have been paid on different salary structures
- Since the USSF sells men’s and women’s media rights together, no team can claim to be solely responsible for generating any specific amount of revenue
The United States Soccer Federation’s offer of equal pay for its men’s and women’s teams is nothing more than a publicity stunt, according to the US Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA).
The two sides have been at odds since the USWNTPA sued the USSF for gender pay discrimination in 2019.
The US Soccer Federation (USSF) announced its latest offer on Tuesday as part of an effort it said was to align the women’s and men’s national teams under one collective bargaining agreement.
The USWNTPA responded to the offer on Twitter.
‘USSF’s PR stunts and bargaining through the media will not bring us any closer to a fair agreement,’ the USWNTPA said on Twitter. In contrast, we are committed to bargaining in good faith to achieve equal pay and the safest working conditions possible. The proposal that USSF made recently to us does neither.’
Crystal Dunn #2, Rose Lavelle #16, Christen Press #11, Megan Rapinoe #15 and Alex Morgan #13 of Team United States celebrate following their team’s victory in the penalty shoot out after the Women’s Quarter Final match between Netherlands and United States on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on July 30, 2021 in Yokohama
Led by Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, the USWNT sued US soccer’s governing body in 2019 over allegations of gender discrimination in compensation and nearly every other aspect of their playing conditions.
Months later they won a fourth World Cup as fans chanted ‘equal pay’ during the final.
The lawsuit, which sought $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act, was dismissed but the USWNT have since appealed.
In dismissing the lawsuit, US Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California asserted that the US women’s players were ‘paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the’ men.
Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe (right) react to their semifinal loss to Team Canada
The US men and women’s teams are paid through different salary structures and since the US Soccer Federation sells their media rights and many sponsorships as a package, one group cannot claim to be solely responsible for generating that revenue.
‘If we were under the men’s contract, we would be making three times more,’ Rapinoe told Good Morning America at the time.
‘Basically it’s like if I earn $1 every time I play and I man earns $3,’ she explained, using a theoretical tournament as an example. ‘[If I] win ten games and he only wins three games… I make $10 and he made $9.
Judge Klausner did agree with the players’ claim that they do not receive equal treatment as the men when it comes to travel, training, housing and other areas.
The USWNT’s current labour agreement expires at the end of 2021 while the men’s team have been operating under the terms of a deal that expired in 2018.
In announcing its offer on Tuesday, US Soccer also said it would not agree to a labour agreement that does take the step of equalizing World Cup prize money and invited the teams and their unions to join the federation to help find a solution.
The US women’s soccer team receives its bronze medals in Tokyo at the end of the Games
FIFA offered prize money of $30 million to the teams in the 2019 Women’s World Cup, while the men took home $400 million in 2018.
The US women are coming off a disappointing third-place finish at the 2020 Tokyo Games after falling to Team Canada in their penultimate match. The Americans beat Australia to win bronze in their Olympic finale.
The US national team’s long-running feud with U.S. Soccer has been a very public and bitter battle with athletes and celebrities, from Billie Jean King to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rallying around the women’s cause.
In 2020, US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned over language used in a court filing suggesting women possess less ability than men when it comes to soccer.
The language prompted an on-field protest by players, who wore their warmup jerseys inside out to obscure the US Soccer logo prior to a game, and a critical response from several of the team’s commercial sponsors.
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