5 Women Stars Hit US Soccer With Equal Pay Complaint

USWNT players say they're paid 40% of what male counterparts make
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2016 8:03 AM CDT
5 Women Stars Hit US Soccer With Equal Pay Complaint
The US women's soccer team poses in Boca Raton, Fla.   (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

Five players acting on behalf of the US women's national soccer team have filed a complaint against the US Soccer Federation, alleging they're paid 40% of what their male counterparts earn, despite winning three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals. In a federal complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Hope Solo—whom the New York Times says are among "the most prominent and decorated female athletes in the world"—argue female players earn less, as well as receive less in bonuses and appearance fees. For winning the 2015 World Cup, for example, the women's team was awarded $2 million. The men's team, which lost in the Round of 16, received $9 million, reports Today.

Female players receive up to $72,000 per year, plus a $1,350 bonus for each win. Members of the men's team receive $5,000 for a loss in a friendly match and up to $17,625 for a win over a top-ranked team. Those payments were agreed to in separate collective bargaining agreements, but the women's CBA expired in 2012. Discussions on a new CBA are ongoing, and "the USSF has made it clear that they will not consider equal pay [with the men] in the negotiations," though the women "have outperformed the men both economically and on the playing field in every possible way the last two years," the team's lawyer tells Sports Illustrated. "We continue to be told we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to play professional soccer, to get paid for doing it," Solo adds, per ESPN. The USSF says it is "disappointed about this action." (More soccer stories.)

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