3 min read

USWNT Receives $24 Million Settlement And Equal Pay


After three years, the legal battle between the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the US Soccer Federation (USSF) for equal pay has come to an end, with the settlement agreement totalling $24 million.

Detailed in court filings, the governing body will payout $22 million in compensation to the athletes involved in the lawsuit, with the additional $2 million going towards the players’ post-career goals and charitable endeavours related to the women’s game.

The USSF has also committed to paying the men’s and women’s teams equally for all friendlies and tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup and CONCACAF competitions.

The USWNT and USSF said in a joint statement that contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, the two sides will have resolved their longstanding pay dispute and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in the sport.

“Today, we recognise the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow, together, we dedicated this moment to them,” the statement said.

“The [USWNT] players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes.

“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,” they said.

The dispute originally began in 2016 when five USWNT athletes, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, filed a wage discrimination complaint to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Months ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, 28 national team athletes filed a class action lawsuit accusing the USSF of gender discrimination.

Towards the end of 2020, USSF and the USWNT had reached a settlement for unequal work conditions, but the equal pay claim was originally dismissed in court, before the athletes lodged an appeal.

Commenting on the settlement agreement, USWNT member, Megan Rapinoe, told the Athletic: “It’s honestly kind of surreal, I feel like I need to take a step back.”

“We’ve all been in the trenches of it for so long, I think I honestly don’t even understand how monumental this is,” Rapinoe said.

US Soccer president, Cindy Parlow Cone said the result is just one step towards rebuilding the relationship with the women’s team and now the focus can shift to growing the game at all levels and increasing opportunities for women and girls.

Additionally, the final settlement was around a third of the original $66 million the athletes wanted in 2019, but Rapinoe described the result as a huge win.

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