Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes

Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes
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A group of Democratic female members of Congress on Thursday introduced a bill that would that would guarantee equal pay between U.S. national team athletes and personnel regardless of gender.

The "Even Playing Field Act" was introduced by Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment MORE (Calif.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Building strong public health capacity across the US MORE (Wash.) along with Reps. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierDemocrats want to bolster working women, but face tortuous choices Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrate 75th anniversary, longest-married presidential couple Military braces for sea change on justice reform MORE (Calif.), Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceDemocratic anger grows over treatment of Haitian migrants Black Caucus meets with White House over treatment of Haitian migrants Bottom line MORE (Mich.), Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelDemocrats repeal prohibition on funding abortions abroad Investing in child care paves the way to a better economy Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes MORE (Fla.), Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block Progressives say go big and make life hard for GOP Three Democrats call for investigation into Sidney Powell to move 'swiftly' MORE (Texas) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaDemocrats want to bolster working women, but face tortuous choices The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda Proposed Texas map adds two new congressional districts to Austin, Houston MORE (Texas).

In the House the bill is being co-sponsored by more than 20 Democratic representatives.

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“Next month, the U.S. women’s national teams will take the stage at the Summer Olympics, ready to bring home the gold,” Feinstein said in the announcement. “Unfortunately, despite numerous and repeated successes on the field, they continue to receive less financial support than their male counterparts. It’s time to even the playing field and ensure men and women’s national teams receive equal pay and resources within their respective sports.”

U.S. women's national soccer team member Megan Rapinoe has become an outspoken advocate for equal pay, joining in a class-action lawsuit with 27 other team members against the United States Soccer Federation, accusing the organization of gender discrimination.

One central argument for equal pay between the soccer teams is that the women's team has consistently outperformed the U.S. men's national soccer team for many years now, being ranked No. 1 in the world and winning multiple World Cups and Olympic Gold Medals in recent years.

As The Washington Post reports, when the women's team won the 2015 World Cup, members split a bonus of $1.73 million while in comparison the men's team shared $5.38 million after losing in Round 16 of the 2014 World Cup.

The statement from the lawmakers pointed that apart from outperforming their male counterparts, the women's team also generates more revenue according to a recent audit of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s financial statements. The women's team generated $50.8 million while the men's team generated $49.9 million.

“It is outrageous that even while winning more championships and gold medals than their male counterparts, our talented female athletes are still having to fight for equal pay," Murray said. "This bill will make sure that female athletes representing our country don’t get shortchanged. But we can’t stop there — we need to make sure every single athlete, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity — gets the pay, dignity, and respect they deserve.”

Earlier this month, Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Progressive coalition unveils ad to pressure Manchin on Biden spending plan MORE (W.Va.) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate Democrat calls on Facebook to preserve documents related to whistleblower testimony Biden says he has directed DOJ to focus on violence from unruly airline passengers Looking to the past to secure America's clean energy future MORE (Wash.) introduced the Give Our Athletes Level Salaries Act, which would prohibit “the use of funds for the 2026 World Cup unless the United States Soccer Federation provides equitable pay to the members of the United States Women’s National Team and the United States Men’s National Team.”

“The American athletes representing our country on the worldwide stage must be compensated equally — because a gold medal is a gold medal and a World Cup is a World Cup, no matter your gender,” Cantwell said.