The U.S. women’s national soccer team is fighting two battles right now. One is in Tokyo, where they’re fighting for a gold medal. The other is back in the United States, where they’re continuing to fight for equal pay.
The USWNT filed their opening brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, asking the court to reverse the district court’s May 2020 decision to dismiss most of their equal pay suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The brief argues that the summary judgment that was issued in May 2020 was inherently flawed and failed to consider the overwhelming evidence that USWNT are underpaid compared to their male counterparts, despite being the most dominant team in international soccer history. The federal judge who heard the case ruled that the USWNT’s claims of equal pay weren’t sufficient to warrant a trial because they’re being paid under the terms of the contract they’d signed.
USWNT players eager to continue equal pay fight
The USWNT players are more than ready to move forward with the next phase of their equal pay suit.
“There is nothing quite like entering a stadium and hearing thousands of our supporters vigorously chanting ‘Equal Pay,’” said USWNT player Tobin Heath via a statement. “We enter this next phase of our legal fight with the same energy we bring to each of our matches.”
“We are working to ensure that the next generation of women soccer players has the opportunity to play for a federation who truly values their contributions and successes, and treats them as equal to — not less-than — their male counterparts.” USWNT player Christen Press said. “Anyone who knows this team knows that we do not give up until we win. That is what you can expect from us on the field — and that is what you can expect from us in our fight for equal pay.”
Former USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe’s comments were short, but got right to the point.
“We believe in our case and know our value. It’s time the USSF does too. LFG.”
USWNT already achieved victory on working conditions
The USWNT has already achieved a partial victory in its quest for equal treatment. In December, the USWNT and USSF agreed on a settlement on unequal working conditions. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner — the same judge who dismissed the USWNT’s equal pay claims — approved the settlement in April.
The terms of the settlement ensures that the USWNT and the USMNT will have equal access to charter flights, hotel accommodations, venue selection and professional support staff.
That settlement also cleared the way for the USWNT to file Friday’s appeal on equal pay.
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