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U.S. Women’s Soccer Sues for Gender Discrimination

March 19th, 2019 Victoria Breese

Twenty-eight members of the U.S. women’s soccer team recently filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer. Although the members of the U.S. women’s team are world champions, the suit alleges that female players are still paid less than their male counterparts. The female players will defend their world championship title this summer in France, but the players argue that “institutionalized gender discrimination” has existed for years within U.S. soccer.

Instances of Gender Discrimination in U.S. Soccer

The athletes allege that their experience of gender discrimination went beyond pay inequality. They claim that their gender affected where and how often they play, how they physically train, medical treatment, and coaching. Although the women’s team is required to play more games than the men’s team (and wins more games), the players claim that they are still paid less than those on the men’s team. Megan Rapinoe, one of the star players on the team, said “I think to be on this team is to understand these issues . . . and I think we’ve always — dating back to forever — been a team that stood up for itself and fought hard for what it felt it deserved and tried to leave the game in a better place.” The influence of these star athletes on the women’s team, particularly on social media, has already had some effects in the sport. FIFA doubled the amount of prize money for this summer’s Women’s World Cup. Additionally, U.S. Soccer has recently eliminated other inequalities such as disparate as meal money and hotel accommodations between male and female players.

Complicated Comparisons Between Men and Women’s Soccer

Making direct comparisons between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Each team has its own individual agreement with U.S. Soccer. A major difference in these agreements is pay structure. The men receive higher game bonuses when they play for the United States, but are paid only when they make the team. The women, on the other hand, receive guaranteed salaries and much smaller game bonuses. Another difference is the bonuses that are awarded in the World Cup. These amounts are determined by FIFA, not U.S. Soccer. The current award is $400 million for 32 men’s teams and $30 million for 24 women’s teams. In the upcoming lawsuit, the athletes on the women’s team will have to show that their team and the men’s team do the same work and address differences in their negotiated pay agreements.

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have suffered from gender discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.