Members of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) now earn the same wages as their male counterparts.
On Wednesday, the media outlet Today reported that the soccer team finalized a deal that gave women the same financial opportunities as the men’s national team, in addition to dividing the World Cup prize money.
U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said during an appearance on the show, “It’s equalization of World Cup prize money, identical financial terms, including identical game payments, identical revenue sharing for both teams, so identical in every aspect on that front.”
The settlement comes after an ongoing fight for equal pay for the last six years. The team filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on the grounds of gender discrimination, to which the team’s pay has now been raised to $22 million. On top of the increased pay rate, the federation will pay players for post-career goals and charitable efforts.
Needless to say, team members are ecstatic over their historic win.
“We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer,” the USWNT shared in a statement, according to PEOPLE.
U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team members discuss equality victory
Becky Sauerbrunn, the U.S. Women’s National Team captain, also relayed her thoughts and feelings toward the settlement. Alongside feeling “extreme pride,” the soccer star commented that the battle was upsetting to fight, considering equal pay should’ve been a reality a long time ago. “To be able to say finally, equal pay for equal work feels very, very good. It’s tough to get so, so excited about something that we really should have had all along,” Sauerbrunn said.
Retired U.S. Women National Team star Abby Wambach has also been outspoken about the team’s win and voiced nothing but support for the women who made equal pay a possibility. “It’s a huge deal because it’s also not just a statement for this team and soccer,” she commented. This is a statement for women everywhere.”
Wambach added that the case could be significant for other women in financial-based discrimination circumstances and voiced, “Another woman looking at an article, or hearing or reading this can think to themselves, ‘Wait, am I getting paid the same as my male counterparts? How should I figure that out?’”
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