CREDO Action

Equal pay for the U.S. Women's National Team

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Petition to the U.S. Soccer Federation:

"Pay the U.S. Women's National Team soccer players more or the same amount as the men's team and provide an equal standard of medical care and other benefits."

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    Equal pay for the U.S. Women's National Team

    The U.S. Women's National Team just won the World Cup!

    The team has won four World Cups and three Olympic gold medals since 1985. The men's team never won either competition. The women's team also brought in nearly $1 billion more in revenue for the U.S. Soccer Federation than the men in recent years.1 But the U.S. Soccer Federation pays the women's team far less than the men ‒ and provides inferior medical care, equipment, travel benefits and marketing. The blatant injustice led to the women filing a class-action lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, the umbrella organization for U.S. national soccer teams, just weeks before the current World Cup.2

    We need to stand alongside the U.S. women's soccer team and use the massive spotlight to demand equal pay and treatment.

    Tell the U.S. Soccer Federation: Equal pay for the U.S. Women's National Team.

    Donald Trump claims the unfair treatment is a matter of "economics," even though the women's national team makes way more money for the U.S. Soccer Federation. He's too busy slurring star player Megan Rapinoe, implying that she does not love her country simply because she announced she will not visit his White House if the team won, to learn the basic facts.3

    The team agreed to proceed to mediation after the World Cup is over, but the stark pay disparity makes it clear that they deserve to win any lawsuit they file:4

    Among the numbers cited in the EEOC filing are that the women would earn $99,000 each if they won 20 friendlies, the minimum number they are required to play in a year. But the men would likely earn $263,320 each for the same feat, and would get $100,000 even if they lost all 20 games. Additionally, the women get paid nothing for playing more than 20 games, while the men get between $5,000 and $17,625 for each game played beyond 20.

    That's right: The men would make more losing every single game than the women would earn if they won all of them. And sadly, the mistreatment goes far beyond pay. The U.S. Women's National team stars point out that the team received lower quality medical care, inferior arrangements, worse hotels and more, going back decades. The earliest teams even had to wear hand-me-down jerseys from the Men's Under-20 teams and launder them themselves. It's unacceptable.

    Tell the U.S. Soccer Federation: Equal pay for the U.S. Women's National Team.

    Women in the United States today still make $500,000 to $1.2 million dollars less than their male co-workers over the course of their lifetimes.5 On average, women make only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. It’s even worse for women of color – Black women make 60 cents and Latinx women only 55 cents per dollar made by a white man.6 The focus on the U.S. Women's National Team helps put a spotlight on pay inequity everywhere.

    As the best team in the world, the U.S. Women's National Team’s fight sparked a wave of similar protests from other teams in the World Cup. Norway's best player sat out the tournament in protest, the Nigerian national team engaged in a sit-in to secure a fair share of prize money and teams in countries like Argentina and Australia confronted their national federations.7 Women around the world are standing up for equal pay, and we need to stand alongside them.

    Tell U.S. Soccer: Equal pay for the U.S. Women's national soccer team.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Tara Golshan, "How the US women’s soccer team 13-0 World Cup win against Thailand became about pay equity," Vox, June 11, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Betsy Klein, "Trump: Soccer star Megan Rapinoe 'should WIN first' before declining WH invitation, says he will invite them 'win or lose,'" CNN, June 26, 2019.
    4. Golshan, "How the US women’s soccer team 13-0 World Cup win against Thailand became about pay equity."
    5. National Partnership for Women and Families, "America’s Women and the Wage Gap," May 2019.
    6. The National Women's Law Center, "The Wage Gap is Stagnant for Nearly a Decade.," Sept. 23, 2015.
    7. Sam Borden, "USWNT lawsuit in the news, but pay equality a global fight at Women's World Cup," ESPN, June 24, 2019.