Members of the US women’s soccer team have reached a historic agreement with their board of directors to end a six-year legal battle over pay equity. The deal promises them $24 million in bonuses as well as rewards similar to those of the men.
American Football and the players announced an agreement Tuesday to split the players by $22 million, about a third of what they sought for damages. US Soccer has also agreed to create a $2 million fund to benefit players in their career after soccer and charitable efforts aimed at supporting women’s sports.
American football has committed to providing an equal rate of pay for women’s and men’s national teams, including World Cup bonuses, subject to collective bargaining agreements with unions that represent women and men separately.
“For our generation, knowing we’re going to leave the game in a much better place than when we found it was everything,” said American midfielder Megan Rapinoe. “That’s it because, frankly, there is no justice in all of this if we don’t make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The settlement was a victory for the players, Who inspired fans to chant “Equal pay!” when they They won the World Cup for the second time in a row In France in 2019. It was a success for American football president Cindy Barlow Kohn, a former player who took over the presidency of the Federation in March 2020.
Cone replaced Carlos Cordero, who quit After the union filed a legal file that claimed that women had less physical ability and responsibility than their male counterparts.
“This is just one step towards rebuilding the relationship with the women’s team. I think this is a great achievement and I am excited about the future and working with them,” said Kuhn. “We can now shift the focus to other things and, most importantly, grow the game at all levels and increase opportunities for girls and women.” .”
Five USWNT stars, led by Rapinoe and striker Alex Morgan, began the challenge with a complaint to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2016. The players filed a lawsuit three years later, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The two sides settled on the working conditions part In December 2020, dealing with issues such as charter flights, accommodation and playing surfaces. They were due to plead on March 7 to the Court of Appeal to try to return the equal portion of pay He was originally fired by a judge.
“The settlement announced today is an important step in correcting the many mistakes of the past,” the women’s national team union said in a statement.
While an employment contract has yet to be found and ratified to replace the deal, which expires on March 31, the settlement is a huge step.
“It is gratifying to feel as if we can begin to repair a relationship with US Soccer that was cut off for so many years due to the discrimination we faced,” Morgan said. “To finally get to this moment, it seems we can almost sigh a breath of relief.”
The players were able to put off legal distractions to continue being successful on the pitch.
“The extra hours, the stress, the external pressures, the discrimination we face, I mean sometimes you think why did I give birth to a female?” Morgan said. “Then sometimes you think how amazing it is to be able to fight for something that you really believe in and stand by these women…there was something more than just stepping on the field and wanting to be a starter or wanting to score goals or wanting to Winning or wanting to get glory.”
The $22 million will be divided into individual amounts proposed by players, subject to court approval.
Kuhn said the federation’s approach to the World Cup rewards equation had yet to be determined. The federation so far has bonus payments from FIFA, which allocated $400 million for the 2018 men’s tournament, including $38 million for the French championship, and $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million for the winning US team. The US Soccer Federation (USWNT) has won four World Cups since the program began in 1985. The men have not reached the semi-finals since 1930.
The US men’s team plays under CBA terms that expired in December 2018.
Rapinoe has criticized both Cordero and his predecessor, Sunil Gulati, who presided over American football from 2006 to 2018. Cordero wants to get his job back Who is in the elections next month.
“The thing Cindy did was admit what was wrong and apologize for what was wrong,” Rapinoe said. “It was within Sunil’s ability to not discriminate and pay us fairly and equally. He was good at Carlos being able to do that, and they made choices not to… I think Cindy showed a lot of strength in that, and I think the other two, frankly, showed a lot. They really showed their true colors in letting this happen for so long.”
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