U.S. Women's Soccer Players File Appeal to Overturn 2020 Equal Pay Lawsuit

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Current and former players for the United States women's national soccer team have appealed a 2020 decision regarding its equal pay lawsuit. 

Homero De la Fuente and David Close of CNN explained that Judge Gary Klausner ruled in May 2020 that the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) did not financially discriminate against the women's team despite the players' allegations that it does.

Friday's appeal said that decision "defies reality" and is "legally wrong" because it is "based on a flawed analysis of the team's compensation, despite the abundant evidence of unequal pay."

The players also denied they were offered the same collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as the men's team even though Klausner argued they played more games and made more money while rejecting the CBA that offered the same pay structure.

The appeal was filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"If a woman has to work more than a man and be much more successful than him to earn about the same pay, that is decidedly not equal pay and it violates the law," player spokesperson Molly Levinson said Friday.

"And yet, that is exactly what the women players on the U.S. National team do—they play more games and achieve better results in order to be paid about the same amount as the men's national team players per game. By any measure, that is not equal pay, and it violates federal law."

The USSF responded to the appeal and said the organization is "committed to equal pay and ensuring that our Women's National Team remains the best in the world" while hoping to resolve the concerns away from the court system.

U.S. Soccer @ussoccer

U.S. Soccer Statement on Appeal Filed by USWNT <a href="https://t.co/QTrCMxliEK">pic.twitter.com/QTrCMxliEK</a>

The response also said the previous ruling "correctly held that the Women's National Team was paid more both cumulatively and on an average per-game basis than the Men's National Team."

The United States women's team was widely seen as the gold-medal favorites coming into the Tokyo Olympics, but it lost a 3-0 stunner to Sweden in its opener.

It will look to bounce back in Saturday's game against New Zealand.


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