USWNT Players Association Calls Out US Soccer's 'PR Stunts' After Contract Proposal

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 15, 2021

FILE - In this June 13, 2021, file photo, United States defender Kelley O'Hara (5), forward Alex Morgan (13) and midfielder Kristie Mewis (22) walk onto the field before their soccer game against Jamaica in Houston. Morgan says the U.S. women's national team needs to make sure players aren't losing any compensation they currently receive under U.S. Soccer's identical contract proposals for both the men's and women's teams. But the team is hopeful for a new collective bargaining agreement that will address players' concerns about equitable pay, she said. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)
AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File

The United States Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that it planned to offer identical contract proposals to the U.S. men's and women's national teams under one collective bargaining agreement amid the women's team's ongoing years-long fight for equal pay and treatment.

On Wednesday, the USWNT Players Association tweeted a response to that proposal:

USWNT Players @USWNTPlayers

USSF's PR stunts and bargaining through the media will not bring us any closer to a fair agreement. In contrast, we are committed to bargaining in good faith to achieve equal pay and the safest working conditions possible. The proposal that USSF made recently to us does neither. <a href="https://t.co/lzchRa0hea">https://t.co/lzchRa0hea</a>

U.S. Soccer's communications team responded to those comments with a tweet of its own:

U.S. Soccer Comms @ussoccer_comms

An offer on paper of identical contracts to the USWNT and USMNT, and to discuss equalizing prize money, is real, authentic and in good faith. A publicity stunt is a 90-minute one-sided movie. <a href="https://t.co/iCdiiCRYFN">https://t.co/iCdiiCRYFN</a>

USWNT striker and two-time World Cup winner Alex Morgan also provided comments.

"We still need to chat about the statement given by US Soccer. But any commitment to equal pay publicly is good," Morgan said Wednesday, per Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press.

"However, we need to look line by line at what they're actually providing, because if you have equal but it's not even what we got before, or to the value that we are, then we still consider that to be not good enough."

This news follows last Friday's open letter from U.S. Soccer Federation president Cindy Parlow Cone, who asked the men's and women's teams to split World Cup prize money equally.

Meg Linehan @itsmeglinehan

Full text of Cindy Parlow Cone's open letter to fans regarding FIFA prize money and CBA negotiations. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USMNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USMNT</a> <a href="https://t.co/OlbSrkkfPS">pic.twitter.com/OlbSrkkfPS</a>

USWNT Players Association executive director Becca Roux called that letter a "publicity stunt."

Andrew Das @AndrewDasNYT

USWNT PA chief Becca Roux responds: "We will not let them use our fight for equality to create a divide between the women and men." <a href="https://t.co/R6tXwsM6Uy">pic.twitter.com/R6tXwsM6Uy</a>

Women's national soccer team players sued the USSF in March 2019 seeking equal treatment and pay as the men's team. They lost the equal pay claim in trial in May 2020 but are asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate that federal lawsuit.