Photo Credit: Equalizer Soccer


US Women’s National Team: Equal Pay for Better Play


In the late 1800s, in the United States, the Women’s Suffrage Movement was actively moving toward securing the right to vote. The next platform for women was equal pay for equal work.


However, nearly two centuries later, this battle is still being waged. One surprising group at the forefront of this movement is the United States Women’s Soccer team (USWNT). They have gone beyond simply being vocal. On March 8, 2019, which was International Women’s Day, all 28 members of the national team sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for gender discrimination.

In the lawsuit, they highlighted the significant difference in treatment and pay they receive over their male counterparts. The lawsuit was filed in California under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. EPA requires equal pay and work for males and females. Title VII is a law that bans discrimination of protected characteristics. 

Photo Credit: New York Times

The lawsuit reached the District Court at the beginning of May 2020. US District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled against the members of the women’s team. Judge Klausner based his decision on the fact that the USSF established different contracts for the women’s and men’s national teams. The contracts were based upon the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for each organization.

The men’s CBA stated that they would not receive an annual salary, but would receive bonuses. The men would only get paid if they were called to camp or made a specific roster (play to play). On the other hand, the women’s team CBA stated that they would get paid each game, even if they did not play. However, they would only receive some of their bonuses.

The Judge’s ruling did not dampen the spirits of US Women.  After receiving the news that the judge dismissed their case, soccer star Megan Rapinoe said on Twitter, “We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.” 


It is not just the discrepancy in revenue which signifies changes need to be made in the salary structure.


The US Women’s team deserves to be paid more than the men’s. These women have been great role models for young female athletes and people on and off the field. Inspiring and illustrating to the world what female athletes can do when they use their voices and platform. Not only will these women go down in history as some of the greatest players the game has ever seen, but these women are activists who are a voice for those whose voices cannot be heard.

A voice for social change.

Yes, they have titles and the hardware to prove it, but their ultimate achievement will be the victorious moment when they go down in history as the team that demanded women receive equal pay.  

Photo Credit: Washington Post

If you want facts to back up this argument, here they are: the difference in the number of titles and World Cup appearances when comparing the two national teams is significant, but not as some might think. The U.S. women’s team has four World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and they have medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament from 1991-2015. They are generally regarded as the premier international women’s team.

Women have only been permitted to play “football” soccer in the Olympics since 1996. The men have not been anywhere near as successful. Their best World Cup finish was third place, in 1930. Since then their highest finish was reaching the quarterfinals in 2002. Unlike the women, the men have been playing Olympic soccer since 1920, competing in 21 games and winning gold in 1960 and 1980. 


Aside from counting medals, a look at the spreadsheet will highlight women vs. men. 


Photo Credit: Yahoo

The Wall Street Journal reported that from 2016-2018, the USWNT games generated $50 million in revenue, compared to $49.9 million for the men. The business community has been aware of women’s success. In a statement, Nike chief executive, Mark Parker, reported: “The USA Women’s home jersey is now the No.1 soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on in one season.”  This has resulted in additional revenue for the women.

The facts speak for themselves. The US Women’s soccer team clearly must be on par with or exceed the income the men receive.  How this will be accomplished is in the works and will hopefully happen soon.  It could come through the Courts, through a new CBA set for 2021, or some other new source. Whatever the source, it will be long overdue for these women. 

US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay   US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay   US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay   US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay   US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay   US Women’s National Team  Equal Pay

-Ashly Dickinson – Franchise Sports Media

Follow The Franchise on social media