The U.S. men’s national soccer team rallied for equal pay for the women's players in an amicus brief filed on Friday.
The men's team has previously voiced support for the women’s gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which seeks $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act.
But their latest statement comes at a critical juncture.
The women's team is appealing a district court ruling in May 2020 that sided with the Federation,with the hopes of having the case sent back to district court to be heard by a jury.
The men's team brief said the Federation "markets both teams under the slogan 'One Nation. One Team,'" but has been treating the women’s team players like quote “second-class citizens” for over 30 years and paying them less despite the Federation's financial growth.
The male players also called the district judge’s reasoning “oversimplified math,” after he claimed the women were paid more, by adding up the compensation paid to both teams and dividing it by the total number of games.
They said the women have only managed to get the same per game pay by winning, including two World Cup victories, adding quote, “a women’s rate of pay is not equal to a man’s if the woman must consistently achieve better outcomes merely to get to the same place.”
The Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said they were quote "committed to equal pay" and would push for a resolution with the players outside of the court system.
The U.S. women’s team defeated the Netherlands in a shootout on Friday in Tokyo to advance to the Olympic semi-finals.