Court Battles

Men’s US soccer team backs women’s in equal pay dispute

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team warms up before a match against Sweden in Tokyo
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The U.S. men’s national soccer team is backing the women’s in its dispute against the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal pay.

The United States National Soccer Team Players Association, which is the labor organization for the men’s team, filed an amicus brief on Friday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the filing, the association said U.S. Soccer has “persistently treated the women as second class throughout the 35-year history of the Women’s National Team.”

“The Federation has tried to portray the women as too demanding and claimed that players in other nations have it worse,” the brief read.

“But the Federation’s long-standing—and ongoing—disparate treatment of the U.S. Women’s National Team players is not absolved merely because the Federation has put some money into women’s soccer or because other nations lag behind,” it continued.

The Hill has reached out to U.S. Soccer for comment.

The brief comes a week after the women’s team, the reigning world champions, appealed a 2020 decision finding that both teams were paid equally.

The suit filed by the women’s players in March 2019 alleged that the women were financially discriminated against based on gender.

Judge Gary Klausner ruled in May 2020 that the women’s team could have chosen the same collective bargaining agreement as the men.

But in Wednesday’s brief, the association said Klausner’s ruling was “flawed,” arguing that his findings improperly relied on total compensation to both teams divided by how many games were played.

The group further said it was “stunned” to learn that in 2017, the federation didn’t agree to pay the women under the same agreement negotiated with the men in 2011. It further said it was “shocked” to learn that the 2017 agreement didn’t give the women any benefits amid the federation’s own financial growth over the six-year period.

“The women deserved better from the Federation—and a lot more money,” the association wrote.

Tags Equal pay soccer U.S. women's national soccer team U.S. women's soccer team USWNT

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