The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Has Settled Their Pay Inequity Dispute with Sport’s Authority

30 past and present members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) have settled with the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer), the national governing body for soccer in the United States, five years after first legally claiming they were suffering from wage discrimination under the organization’s management.

The settlement is contingent upon the USWNT’s ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement, which will then be reviewed by a district court for final ratification. If finalized as agreed upon, U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million in backpay amongst the 28 players who were party to the lawsuit in 2019. Additionally, U.S. Soccer will fund a post-career fund with $2 million, which 30 eligible USWNT players can apply for up to $50,000 from after their retirement.

Most key of all, U.S. Soccer will offer equal rate of pay between both the Women’s National Team as the Men’s going forward.

Several members of the USWNT team — including out athletes Megan Rapinoe, Kelly O’Hara, and Adrianna Franch — became international feminist icons and advocates for pay equity. In 2021, Rapinoe testified before Congress and spoke at the White House on the issue.

In a statement today, U.S. Soccer and the USWNT said in part, “Getting to this day has not been easy. The U.S. Women’s National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes.

“Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Together, we dedicate this moment to them.”

Rapinoe said on Good Morning America after the announcement of the agreement, “I’m just so proud, to be honest… we’re going to look back on this day and say this is the moment that U.S. Soccer changed for the better.”

She was joined by fellow teammate Alex Morgan, who was also joined by Cindy Parlow Cone, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. 

“This is just such a monumental step forward in feeling valued, feeling respected and just mending our relationship with U.S. Soccer,” Morgan said.

“We can’t go back and undo the injustices that we’ve faced,” Rapinoe also said. “The only justice coming out of this is that we know that something like this is never going to happen again and we can move forward in making soccer the best sport that we possibly can in this country and setting up the next generation so much better than we ever had it.”

Rapinoe and other USWNT players cheered the agreement and the opportunity to move forward as well.

“I’m proud of the @USWNT for never giving up – on and off the field,” President Joe Biden (D) tweeted.

“Now, let’s close the pay gap in every industry,” he added.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and several other members of Congress also cheered the news.

Out tennis legend and activist Billie Jean King called the agreement “historic” and thanked “all people who worked tirelessly through the years to get this done.”

Several other athletes, activists, and fans of the US Women’s Soccer Team shared their thoughts on the news

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