USWNT stars on soccer federation lawsuit: ‘No question’ we’re under-marketed compared to men’s team
Days afteragainst the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team have detailed their fight for equality further, calling out disparities in how the men’s and women’s teams are marketed.
Claiming that USSF is in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by “stubbornly” refusing to “treat its female employees … equally to its male employees,” the USWNT’s 28 players are seeking damages and back pay after allegedly failing to receive the same base pay, bonuses and travel accommodations as the men’s national team. As told to “CBS This Morning” from France on Tuesday, they believe part of the problem is an unequal share of USSF promotions.
Asked by co-host Norah O’Donnell whether the women believe they have been under-marketed in contrast to the men, especially since the USSF has said men “bring in more revenue and TV ratings,” USWNT members Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe suggested that’s the case.
“Yes, I think there’s no question,” Morgan said. “That’s one of the cases that we have in our fight, and that’s a very important thing moving forward. And I don’t think that’s only us — I think that’s women’s sports all around.”
As CBS News notes, most of the lawsuit centers on the difference in team member payouts:
In the lawsuit, attorneys for the women point out that if both the men’s and the women’s teams were to win 20 non-tournament matches, the men would earn on average $263,320 – a little more than $13,000 per game, while the average women’s team player would earn a maximum of $99,000, which equals a little less than $5,000 per game.
The discrimination lawsuit isn’t the first time USWNT members have taken a stand for equality. Five players previously filed a complaint in 2016 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over alleged wage discrimination.
“U.S. soccer is in a very unique position to take an incredibly bold stance,” Rapinoe told O’Donnell. “I think we’ve learned a lot through this process. We’ve really come together as a group, and been able to solidify our unity and our strength, and really begun to understand the power of everyone being on the same page.”