By: Carlin Costell
Players from the U.S. Women's National soccer team have been fighting for equal pay since 2016.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22 they got their wish, settling their class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) for a total of $24 million, according to U.S. soccer correspondent Jeff Carlise in his piece published by ESPN.
As a female soccer player, watching these women fight for equality was inspiring. I've looked up to this incredible team my whole life and what they faced, and what other women continue to face in terms of equal pay in professional sports and the workforce, is not deserved.
Female soccer players were consistently paid less than their male counterparts despite their outstanding performances on the field, notable, in one example, through each team’s bonus pay.
According to an article published by The Dallas Express, “men’s players received a $67,000 bonus for making a World Cup roster, while women’s players received $37,500. When the men’s team defeats a team ranked outside the Top 25 in the FIFA rankings, each player gets a $9,375 bonus, while a loss would net each player $5,000. Meanwhile, when the women’s team defeats a team ranked outside the top eight, each player receives a $5,250 bonus whereas a loss earns no bonus at all. Winning the World Cup, which the men’s team has never done, would net each male player a $407,608 bonus. In contrast, women’s players receive $110,000 for a World Cup title.”
How have we made so many vital improvements as a society and still allowed for such a discrepancy to occur in the 21st century?
Clearly, the players’ lawsuit was about doing what was right.
The discrimination in pay provoked the women to sue U.S. Soccer, filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
With the help and support of the men’s national team, they issued a statement against the USSF.
After a six year battle, the U.S. women’s national team reached a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation, guaranteeing equal pay with the men’s team and offer players millions in back pay.
Hearing this news in February was empowering. This team, in particular, plays such an important part in many people’s lives. They proved that no matter how long it takes, don’t give up or lose hope.
Growing up I put myself under the impression that women and men weren’t meant to be equal. That women weren’t as strong or couldn’t do as much.
Later on I realized that wasn’t true. But I believe that this should be an eye opener to everyone.
Women can be just as impactful and powerful as they want to be.