The Equal Pay Debate Between the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National team

The United States National Soccer Team (USWNT) has won 4 World Cup championships while the men’s team (USMNT) has 0 World Cup championships. Despite this fact, if both the women’s national team and the men’s national team played 20 “friendly” games, the women would be paid a maximum of $99,000 while the men would get paid an average of $263,320. This is one of the many facts that the USWNT used during their lawsuit against US soccer. The women claim that they earn more revenue than the men and therefore they should be paid more than the men. 

The USWNT has many important figures that have been supporting them throughout this lawsuit. A tweet by Sen. Elizabeth Warren states “The @USWNT is #1 in the world & contributes higher revenues for @USSoccer than the men’s team, but they’re still paid a fraction of what the men earn. Women deserve equal pay for equal (or better!) work in offices, factories, AND on the soccer field.” Sen Kirsten Gillibrand stated, “Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team.” Despite the efforts made by the USWNT and the people supporting them through this lawsuit, the verdict was not in their favor.

On May 1, 2020, Judge R. Gary Klausner threw out the USWNT’s allegations concerning the Equal Pay Act but didn’t make a decision regarding the Civil Rights Claims. He did this by releasing a 32-page letter and these are the highlights: Judge Klausner states that the agreements between the USWNT and the USMNT are different because the USWNT’s agreement includes a base salary with potential bonuses on top of that while the USMNT’s agreement has a smaller salary with a higher chance to get more money when they qualify for certain tournaments and perform well overall. Due to the fact that the USWNT refused to get the same payment plans as the USMNT, the judge claimed that the two different forms of payment couldn’t be compared. 

Due to the Coronavirus, the USWNT’s trial against the U.S Soccer Federation regarding Civil RIghts Claims (discrimination in terms of aircraft use, hotel accomadations, and medical and training support services) has been pushed back.

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