The USWNT’s fight for equal pay took a big hit on Friday when a judge issued a key ruling in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that the USWNT’s claim of unequal pay in relation to their male counterparts did not warrant a trial. The USWNT sued the USSF seeking as much as $67 million in backpay, arguing that the USMNT was paid more because of gender discrimination.
USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinson vowed to “immediately appeal” the ruling. Members of the USWNT that won the Women’s World Cup last year immediately backed up Levinson’s claim on Twitter, including Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe.
Megan Rapinoe reacts
We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) May 2, 2020
The news was disappointing to USWNT star Alex Morgan.
Although disappointing to hear this news, this will not discourage us in our fight for equality. https://t.co/s1VWfF2IG0— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) May 2, 2020
USWNT forward Tobin Heath also vowed to keep fighting.
As did defender Becky Sauerbrunn.
If you know this team at all you know we have a lot of fight left in us. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy, change never is. https://t.co/BfXqAAtCZ5— Becky Sauerbrunn (@beckysauerbrunn) May 1, 2020
Forward Christen Press and defender Ali Krieger voiced similar thoughts.
We will continue on in the fight for equal pay. https://t.co/GmI16NssIh— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) May 1, 2020
We will continue to fight like hell and get what we deserve. https://t.co/fwfOMaBfp7— Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) May 2, 2020
The players’ social media statements mirrored Levinson’s vow to keep up the fight on the equal pay front.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today's decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” Levinson’s statement reads. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.”
The judge also ruled against the USWNT in a claim that the USMNT was treated more favorably in terms of field conditions.
USWNT arguments that men unfairly received more favorable travel conditions and support services remain on track for trial.
In the meantime, the USWNT plans to keep fighting for the primary point of their lawsuit.
For full details of Friday’s ruling, read here.
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