U.S. Women’s Football Scoring Equal Pay Settlement, Skim

The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) has just scored one of its biggest goals yet – a major equal pay victory. On February 22, the team colonized their pay discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for $24 million – also securing equal pay in sports for future athletes. Here’s your Skimm on how we got here and how it could impact women on and off the court.

Started out by… being severely underpaid

For decades, the United States women’s soccer team dominated the men’s. The USWNT have won the World Cup four times since the program began in 1985. They also won gold medals at the Summer Olympics in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Meanwhile, the men’s team did not reach a semi-final since 1930. And did not win a medal since 1904. And yet, the women’s team was paid less. These facts kicked off a legal battle that has been in the headlines for years and ultimately ended in a major gooooaaaal.

Psst…to learn more about the gender pay gap, see our guide.

In 2016, five players (including stars Megan Rapinoe, Carli Loyd and Alex Morgan) filed a complaint with the EEOC. They accused the United States Soccer Federation of pay discrimination, saying they earned about 40% of what the men’s team earned. Yes, 40%. Three years later, 28 team members file a class action lawsuit trial. To say that the federation violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII Civil Rights Act. And accused him of “institutionalized gender discrimination.” That same year, the team won the Women’s World Cup — to famous applause from the fans.”equal payin the stands. A moment that drew widespread attention for their push for equal pay in sport.

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And it wasn’t easy… but now we’re here

Over the past two years, players have faced number of bumps on the ground, uh, road to equal pay. But in February, the two sides finally reached an agreement. The fine print: US Soccer has agreed to pay $22 million in back wages to the players in the case. An additional $2 million would go into a fund that players would use for post-career goals and charitable efforts (each player can request up to $50,000). And, most notably, the federation promised to pay the men’s and women’s teams equally in the future. Including for all tournaments like the World Cup.

“Justice comes into the next generation without ever having to go through what we’ve been through,” Rapinoe said. on CBS Mornings. “It’s equal pay across the board from now on.”

But the decision hinges on the ratification of a new contract between US Soccer and the players’ union. The contract would resolve all remaining claims in the sex discrimination lawsuit. And then the settlement would be approved by a district court in the coming weeks. Ahead of Equal Pay Day on March 15, it’s a goal worth celebrating. And as Rapinoe said: “I think we’re all going to look back on that moment with incredible pride. If you don’t pay attention to that right now and what’s going on in women’s sport, you’re sleeping on all. “


The rulebook for women’s soccer in the United States is a historic victory, not just for the players, but for the women of the sports world. Given that American women still earn a fraction of the salary of their male colleagues (think: around 80 cents on the male dollar), we hope the success of the women’s team sets a long-awaited example in other industries as well. .

Skimmed by Macy Alcido, Maria McCallen and Kamini Ramdeen-Chowdhury

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