The US Women’s National Team have reached a landmark $24million settlement with US Soccer which ends a six-year legal battle over equal pay.
The agreement will see players split $22million, roughly a third of what they had originally sought in damages, with US Soccer also agreeing to establish a $2million fund that will support players once their careers have come to an end. Equal World Cup bonuses and equal pay will also be ensured across the men’s and women’s national teams.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe said “For our generation, knowing that we’re going to leave the game in an exponentially better place than when we found it is everything. That’s what it’s all about because, to be honest, there is no justice in all of this if we don’t make sure it never happens again.”
US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said “This is just one step towards rebuilding the relationship with the women’s team. I think this is a great accomplishment and I’m excited about the future and working together with them. Now we can shift the focus to other things, most importantly, growing the game at all levels and increasing opportunities for girls and women.” Cone became president in March 2020, taking over from Carlos Cordeiro who quit after the federation made a legal filing that claimed women had less physical ability and responsibility than their male counterparts.
The dispute began in 2016 when five players took a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The players then sued three years later, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Alex Morgan said “It’s so gratifying to feel like we can start to mend a relationship with US Soccer that has been severed for so many years because of the discrimination that we faced. To finally get to this moment feels like we can almost sigh a breath of relief.”