Joe Biden Tells USWNT 'Don't Give Up' Wage Fight; Issues Ultimatum to USSF

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2020

In this Sunday, March 15, 2020, photo, former Vice President Joe Biden, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington. What might be the final showdown between the two very different Democratic candidates takes place Tuesday, March 17, 2020, during Florida's presidential primary. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Former United States vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden expressed support for the U.S. women's national team in their fight for equal pay Saturday.

Biden took to Twitter to encourage the USWNT to keep fighting and inform the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) that there will be repercussions should he be elected president and if the governing body continues to refuse equal pay:

Joe Biden @JoeBiden

To @USWNT: don’t give up this fight. This is not over yet. To @USSoccer: equal pay, now. Or else when I'm president, you can go elsewhere for World Cup funding. https://t.co/XK6t9oM94k

According to ESPN's Graham Hays, a federal judge in California dismissed the USWNT's wage discrimination lawsuit Friday, noting that the players "have not demonstrated a triable issue that WNT players are paid less than MNT players."

Per Hays, the decision was based largely on financial information U.S. Soccer provided to Judge R. Gary Klausner. U.S. Soccer reported to Klausner that the women's national team averaged $220,747 per game in total payments and the men's national team averaged $212,639 per game in total payments from 2015 to '19.

While the judge could have ruled that U.S. Soccer violated the Equal Pay Act even though women's national team players earned more in total than men's national team players, the plaintiffs were deemed unable to prove that the higher payment was only a result of the women's players participating in more matches than the men's players.

It was determined that language in the USWNT's collective bargaining agreement led to unequal play rather than discrimination from the USSF.

USWNT players Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were among those who said they would continue their fight:

Megan Rapinoe @mPinoe

We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.

Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13

Although disappointing to hear this news, this will not discourage us in our fight for equality. https://t.co/s1VWfF2IG0

While the judge dismissed the wage discrimination lawsuit, he did not dismiss the allegation that U.S. Soccer discriminated against the USWNT with imbalanced workplace conditions, which would be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The USWNT alleges that U.S. Soccer discriminated against them with substandard charter flights and hotel accommodations and medical and training support compared to the men's team.

While the USWNT could still win that part of the lawsuit, spokesperson Molly Levinson said the the U.S. women's players plan to appeal the decision on unequal pay.

Unless a settlement is agreed upon, the Title VII portion of the lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial on June 16.