Equal pay mediation between US Soccer, USWNT breaks down

Negotiations between U.S. Soccer and the U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) over the team’s demands for equal pay broke down Wednesday without a resolution, according to Yahoo News.

Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the USWNT in their lawsuit, said that while the team entered talks “full of hope,” “we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior.”

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U.S. Soccer countered that the team’s inflexibility was to blame for the lack of progress.

“We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement,” he said.

“[I]nstead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs’ counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion,” he added.

Team captain Megan Rapinoe addressed the stalemate on “The Today Show” Thursday, saying, "When they're ready to have a serious conversation about equal pay I think conversations will go better.”

The talks followed a March lawsuit by 29 USWNT players that alleged “systemic” pay discrimination on the basis of gender by the U.S. Soccer Federation. The plaintiffs cited lower bonuses and inferior travel accommodations compared to their male counterparts.

Calls for equal pay have grown louder since the team's fourth World Cup victory this summer.

The U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association has announced its support of the lawsuit, slamming a claim by U.S. Soccer that USWNT was paid more than the men’s team as “false accounting.”