Here We Go Again: U.S. Women's Soccer Team Files $66 Mil. 'Gender Discrimination' Lawsuit Against U.S. Soccer Federation

Nick Kangadis | February 21, 2020
Font Size

Oh, God! Here we go again, and no, I’m not talking about the left’s Russian obsession.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) has filed a $66 million gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) in documents filed Thursday night, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

The USSF said in a statement that the women were paid differently than their male counterparts because they negotiated a different contract than the one the men did.

“Women’s national team players are paid differently because they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations,” the USSF statement read. “Their preference was a contract that provides significant additional benefits that the men’s national team does not have, including guaranteed annual salaries, medical and dental insurance, paid child-care assistance, paid pregnancy and parental leave, severance benefits, salary continuation during periods of injury, access to a retirement plan, multiple bonuses and more.”

It’s not clear if those representing the USWNT are aware of this, but benefits cost money as well. And, if the women are getting benefits the men don’t, then the women are getting paid more than the men in terms of benefits.

“In the most recent CBA negotiation, USSF repeatedly said that equal pay was not an option regardless of pay structure,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the USWNT said in a statement. “USSF proposed a `pay to play structure’ with less pay across the board. In every instance for a friendly or competitive match, the women players were offered less pay that their male counterparts. This is the very definition of gender discrimination, and of course the players rejected it.”

I love how people just publicly cry discrimination without presenting qualifiers for the situation they find themselves in. What were the ticket sales for the men’s matches compared to the women’s? Do advertisers and networks pay the USSF differently for women’s matches as compared to the men’s? What kind of endorsement deals do the separate teams have, and how much are they worth?

The Associated Press also reported:

A U.S. man who was on the roster for all 16 qualifiers during the failed effort to reach the 2018 World Cup earned $179,375 in payments from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

An American woman received $52,500 for being on the roster for the five World Cup qualifiers last year plus $147,500 for her time at the World Cup, including a $37,500 roster bonus and $110,000 for winning the title in France.

The men played in 16 qualifying matches for a total of $179,375. The women made $52,500 for five matches. That comes out to an average of $11,210 a match for the men, and $10,500 a match for the women. However, if you factor in the benefits exclusively available to the women’s team, the disparity all but disappears.

The AP also noted how the men and women’s teams are completely equal in terms of their per diems and per paid attendance fee:

There is parity is per diems: the women get $62.50 daily while in the U.S. and $75 internationally, the same as the men received under terms of their expired deal that covered 2015-18. And men and women both receive $1.50 per paid attendance for home matches controlled by the USSF.

If the USWNT want more money, then they need to do more than continue to cry discrimination.