This week, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) reached a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) over equal pay. The deal is a long time coming, after a multi-year lawsuit and a lot of public discourse over the gender pay gap.
Megan Rapinoe, one of the high profile players who filed a complaint about the pay gap and later signed onto the lawsuit shared her opinion on the settlement on Good Morning America.
The video clip was shared online.
The settlement includes a $22 million payout for players in back pay, along with a $2 million fund to support players’ retirements, charitable efforts, and help grow the women’s side of the sport.
The lawsuit filed in March 2019 alleged that female players were consistently paid less than their male counterparts despite winning more tournaments and high worldwide viewership.
Rapinoe shared her thoughts and feelings on the settlement, saying:
“For us as players, I'm just so proud of the way we stuck together and really just kind of put our foot down. This is a huge win for us.”
Her tweet about the win had many cheering the victory.
May 2020 saw a setback when a judge ruled against the USWNT, claiming they actually made more than the men’s team.
Despite this, the USWNT continued their discussions with the USSF, who was under new leadership after previous president of the organization, Carlos Cordeiro, resigned over his argument the women’s team had less physical ability and responsibility than the men’s team.
Under Cindy Parlow Cone, a former player and new president of the USSF, the organization reached agreements with the USWNT about working conditions in December 2020. If they hadn’t reached an agreement about the equal pay portion, the appeal for the lawsuit would have had the two sides arguing in court on March 7 this year.
It's been a long time coming, but both sides are happy with the agreement.
Going forward, World Cup bonuses for both the men’s and women’s teams will be equal, as well as equal rates of pay. The settlement is a win for everyone in soccer.