The United States Soccer Federation and the US Women’s National Team have reached an agreement — but not about equal pay.
The two sides have reached a deal resolving the unequal working conditions claim that the USWNT put forth as part of a larger lawsuit from March 2019, which claims the women were paid less than the men’s team and were also subjected to unequal conditions.
The latter claim, US Soccer announced Tuesday, has been resolved, with both parties having filed a proposed settlement. In it, the federation pledges to implement policies specifically related to “hotel accommodations, staffing, venues, and travel.”
In a statement, Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the USWNT players, emphasized the deal does not indicate the end of the legal battle, saying the team still plans to appeal the court’s decision this past May dismissing the team’s equal pay claims.
The deal, Levinson said, doesn’t “account for the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job.”
“We remain as committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve,” she said. “Our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and this country.”
Cindy Parlow Cone, US Soccer president and a former USWNT player, called Tuesday’s deal a “positive step forward,” and she urged the team to accept the standing offer to discuss contract options.
“As a former USWNT player, I can promise you that I am committed to equality between the USWNT and USMNT,” she said in a statement, referring to the men’s national team. “My goal is, and has always been, to come to a resolution on all equal pay matters and inspire a new era of collaboration, partnership and trust between the USWNT and the Federation.”
US Soccer president: Equal pay demands would ‘bankrupt’ the organization
In a conference call following the announcement, Cone told reporters that the federation has reached out to the team and offered them the same contract as the men for games controlled by US Soccer. However, Cone said, the team is requesting the federation make up the FIFA World Cup prize money, a “vast majority of the $66 million they’re requesting in back pay.”
Making up that money, Cone said, would likely bankrupt US Soccer.
“This would be devastating to our budget and to our programming,” she said. “But given Covid, not to be overly dramatic, but it would likely bankrupt the federation.”
In May, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” after the court dismissed the team’s