United States' men's football side backs women's team in their fight with federation for equal pay

The US Men's Football Team have alleged that the US Soccer Federation haven't been paying their players in proportion to the profits that the body generates

Reuters July 31, 2019 15:44:23 IST
United States' men's football side backs women's team in their fight with federation for equal pay
  • The women’s team filed their lawsuit in March and will soon head into mediation with U.S. Soccer

  • The US Soccer Federation president said that the body had paid the women’s team more than the men’s team in recent years

  • The lawsuit alleges years of institutionalised gender discrimination and says medical personnel, and training are less favourable for female players

The US men’s football team on Tuesday accused the US Soccer Federation of refusing to pay national team players a fair share of generated revenue as they gave their support to the women’s squad in their equal-pay lawsuit.

The women’s team filed their lawsuit in March and will soon head into mediation with US Soccer, whose president said on Monday in an open letter that the body had paid the women’s team more than the men’s team in recent years.

United States mens football side backs womens team in their fight with federation for equal pay

USA's Megan Rapinoe celebrates with teammates. AP

The United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA), the labour organisation for members of the men’s national team, said it was not impressed with the details of Carlos Cordeiro’s letter.

"This is more of the same from a Federation that is constantly in disputes and litigation and focuses on increasing revenue and profits without any idea how to use that money to grow the sport," the USNSTPA said in a statement.

"One way to increase profit unfairly is to refuse to pay national team players a fair share of the revenue they generate."

The US Soccer Federation did not immediately respond when asked to comment. Cordeiro had said in his letter that analysis of financial data showed the women’s team were paid $34.1 million from 2010-2018 in salaries and bonuses compared to $26.4 million for the men’s team over the same period.

The letter stated the totals do not include money received by US Soccer from FIFA for World Cup bonuses and that if that money is included, the men earned $41 million during the same 2010-2018 period compared to $39.7 million for the women.

Each member of the women’s team, that won a record-extending fourth World Cup three weeks ago, were named as plaintiffs in federal court when their lawsuit was filed.

It included complaints about wages and nearly every other aspect of their working conditions. The players, including Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men’s team.

The lawsuit alleges years of institutionalised gender discrimination and says travel conditions, medical personnel, promotion of games and training are less favourable for female players compared to their male counterparts.

"The only solution Mr Cordeiro proposes is for fans to buy more tickets and watch more games on television," the USNSTPA said.

“He conceals the fact that the money will not go to USWNT players when sponsors pay the Federation to support the USWNT, fans buy tickets to USWNT games at ever-increasing ticket prices, and television companies pay more when more fans watch USWNT games. That is neither fair nor equitable.”

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