Respect Equality

Women’s national soccer team members settle equal pay lawsuit for $24M

Story at a glance

  • A $24 million settlement agreement has been reached between U.S. women soccer players and the U.S. Soccer Federation.
  • More than a dozen members of the U.S. women’s national team sued the federation over gender discrimination in 2018.
  • Now both male and female U.S. soccer players will be paid at an equal rate.

Both men and women that play for U.S. Soccer will be paid at an equal rate after a landmark $24 million settlement was announced following a yearslong legal battle. 

On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) players announced a settlement agreement that officially ends a 2019 gender discrimination lawsuit filed by more than two dozen members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. 

The lawsuit included soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan and argued female soccer players were being discriminated against as reflected in their pay, medical treatment, travel arrangements and overall workload. 

Before that in 2016, a formal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint was filed by retired U.S. women’s soccer players Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, as well as Rapinoe and Morgan, over inequality in pay and treatment. 


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Now, the 2019 lawsuit has been settled in court, reaching a $24 million settlement that includes terms that men and women will be paid at an equal rate in the future in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup. 

“Getting to this day has not been easy. The U.S. Women’s National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes,” said U.S. Soccer and USWNT in a joint statement. 

U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the players in the case and an additional $2 million into a fund that will benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer, according to NBC News. 

Players can apply for up to $50,000 from the fund. 

“Today we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Today, we dedicate this moment to them,” said U.S. Soccer and USWNT. 

The equal pay settlement is a victory for U.S. women’s soccer as the team became a global sensation after winning four FIFA Women’s World Cup titles.  


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