The US soccer team and the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) have reached an agreement to end a dispute over pay equity, according to a joint statement released Tuesday.
The dispute dates back to March 2019 when the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against American football.
The agreement will see the women’s and men’s national teams receive equal pay in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.
The joint statement issued on Tuesday said, “We are pleased to announce that, provided a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and stand together proudly in a shared commitment to promoting equality in football.”
As part of the agreement, US Soccer will pay $22 million to the players in the cause as well as “an additional $2 million in an account to benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer.”
Settlement is conditional on the ratification of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the USWNT.
“Access to this day was not easy,” the statement said. “The US women’s team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and the athletes of the future.
“Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped make this day possible, as well as all 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 around the world.”
Two-time World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan — along with NFL chief Cindy Barlow Kohn — reflected on the historic pact on CBS Mornings.
“To be honest is a bit surreal,” Rapinoe said. “We have been in this for a long time and come from a long history of women who have struggled to put the sport in a better place.
“The thing I look forward to and am really proud of is that justice comes in the next generation and you don’t have to go through what we’ve been through – it’s equal pay across the board from now on.
“I look forward to continuing to develop this sport and for this to be a moment to look back, which signals a new American football that we can all be very proud of.”
Rapinoe said the long-term effects of the agreement could lead to greater success for the national team.
“The biggest part of the legacy we can take from this generation is that the players coming up will have a much better ability to just play,” Rapinoe said.
“However, maybe they’re better than we’ve ever been, that’s the point.”
Morgan added that a big aspect of the settlement was the move toward “repairing” the team’s relationship with US Soccer.
“This is a huge step, and repairing that relationship with US Soccer is also a big part of that,” Morgan said.
“We feel relieved, happy and proud of the moment we have to get to now because it’s a huge win for us, for women’s sports, for women in general – a moment we can all celebrate right now.”
Later, on ABC’s Good Morning America, Cohn, the 1999 World Cup winner as a USWNT quarterback, echoed Morgan’s ratings.
“I think this is a huge victory for everyone involved, but right now we’re focused on moving forward with the game, so this is actually a great transitional moment,” she said. “We still have a lot of work to do to repair the relationship with our players but we are on the way to that but we are looking forward.
“They are not only the best players in the world but they are great ambassadors for our sport and now we can work hand in hand together to develop the game here at home and abroad and elevate the women’s game around the world I think it is really special and I am really looking forward to turning the page and working together with the women’s team.
Tuesday’s deal marks a back-and-forth decision dating back to March 2019, when the USWNT was I sued for gender discrimination against American football.
With 28 of the team’s players listed as plaintiffs, the USWNT’s claim that they were paid less than the men’s national team was unacceptable In May 2020 by Federal Judge Gary Klausner, who ruled that the women’s team played more matches and earned more money than their male counterparts.
After the decision, USWNT players two-time World Cup winner Kristen Price and Tobin Heath told CNN they wanted to continue fighting for equal pay, with Heath. Description of the risks “More than anything we can win in football.”
In July 2021, the USWNT filed an appeal against the May 2020 ruling, saying the decision “defies reality” and is “legally wrong.”
The US Soccer team tweeted a statement in response to the team’s plea, saying that the decision “correctly states that the women’s national team received more cumulative and average pay per game than the men’s national team.”
In September 2021, American football’s display of identical contracts for the men’s and women’s national teams was named a “Public Relations Thriller” by the United States Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA).
The USWNTPA, which operates as a players’ union, said in tweet.
“In return, we are obligated to bargain in good faith for equal pay and safer working conditions. The proposal that the Soviet Union gave us recently does not apply to it either.”
The union responded to the USWNTPA’s social media post shortly after, Twitter“The offer on paper for identical contracts to the USWNT and USMNT, and to discuss the prize money equivalency, is a genuine, genuine, good faith offer. The publicity is a 90-minute one-sided film.”
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