U.S. Women's Soccer Team Wins Historic Battle For Equal Pay, Will Finally Get Same Pay as Men

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Wins Historic Battle For Equal Pay, Will Finally Get Same Pay as Men

The complaint was first filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016 by five U.S. Women's National Team players.

After six years of fighting for equal pay, the U.S. Women's National Team has reached a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The settlement includes a multimillion-dollar payment to the players and a promise by their federation to equalize pay between the men’s and women’s national teams. U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the USWNT players as well as $2 million specifically for post-career goals and charitable efforts, according to a press release sent out by U.S. Soccer, reports PEOPLE



The story is an inspiring reminder of how women who come together and fight for their rights, can eventually win. The agreement comes after a complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016 by five U.S. Women's National Team players—Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, and Carli Lloyd. The women called out the unequal pay between men's and women's teams at the time. In 2019, a lawsuit was filed by multiple athletes of the World Cup-winning team. Thirty USWNT members filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for "institutionalized gender discrimination." The women pointed out that they received less pay and poorer treatment when compared to the men's team.



Despite the many hurdles the women had to face, the final agreement is a win for women in sports. "We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer," the statement from U.S. Soccer and the USWNT reads. "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," they continued. "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. We look forward to continuing to work together to grow women's soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe."



USWNT stars Megan Rapinoe and teammate Alex Morgan were part of the process of people who pushed for equal pay. Rapinoe told CBS News on Tuesday that she was "incredibly proud" of the agreement. "Obviously, we have been in this for a long time, and coming from a long history of women who have fought to put this sport in a better place. I mean, I think pride comes to mind, just incredibly proud of the women on this team and all the women who this lawsuit represents," Rapinoe said. She added, "The thing I look forward to and am really proud of is that, you know, the justice comes in the next generation never having to go through what we went through. It's equal pay from here on out." 



The women who stood their ground should be proud of how far they've come and how their efforts sparked an important movement in women's sports. “It wasn’t an easy process to get to this point for sure,” Cindy Parlow Cone, U.S. Soccer’s president, said in a telephone interview to The New York Times. “The most important thing here is that we are moving forward, and we are moving forward together.” “I think it was just extremely motivating to see organizations and employers admit their wrongdoing, and us forcing their hand in making it right,” added Alex Morgan, a striker and former co-captain of the women’s national team. “The domino effect that we helped kick-start—I think we’re really proud of it.”







Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Laurence Griffiths | Getty Images

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