The U.S. Soccer Federation and members of the U.S. Women’s National Team have been locked in a lawsuit about gender inequality since March of last year, and the women’s team alleges that they’ve been inadequately paid.
The U.S. Soccer Federation, which still serves as the governing body of the men’s and women’s national teams, filed a motion for a summary judgment and dismissal of the case last night in which they argue that its pay practices don’t break the Equal Pay Act and they haven’t overstepped the Title VII in the past.
According to their justification, the work that the players do is not equal. The motion reads that “plaintiffs and the MNT players do not perform equal work requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions, and pay differential is based on factors other than gender”.
Even though it is true that the USSF paid more money to the women’s team during the 2019 season than the men’s team, that is largely due to bonus money that the women’s team earned by winning the World Cup (which the men’s team failed to qualify), they went on to play games as part of their victory tour which generated even more profit to the organization.
Even the men’s team rejects the false narrative of separate pay, asserting that the women’s salaries should be raised and they should reflect the pay on the men’s team more closely.
The idea that the work of men’s and women’s teams doesn’t require the same amount of effort and skill is completely false, and it was reported by the New York Times that the women played (and won) more games than the men between 2012 and 2016. The games last 90 minutes for men and women, and the soccer pitch is the same for men and women.
So, if it can be proven that the Federation willfully violated Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, it will be up to a jury to determine the amount in damages and back pay women players from past and present US teams are owed. Reports say that the Federation is potentially looking at a loss of $66 million on back pay alone.