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Video: Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan Discuss Judge's Ruling in USWNT Equal Pay Case

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 03: Megan Rapinoe #15 and Alex Morgan #13 of the United States look on during the National Anthem before the USWNT Victory Tour friendly match against Portugal at Allianz Field on September 03, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The United States defeated Portugal 3-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner decided against taking the U.S. women's national team's $67 million pay discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer to trial Friday, saying the women "have not demonstrated a triable issue that WNT players are paid less than MNT players," per Caitlin Murray of Yahoo Sports.

On Monday, USWNT stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan discussed the case on Good Morning America:

Good Morning America @GMA

“We are fighters and we’ll continue to fight together for this.” @USWNT #WorldCup champions @mPinoe and @alexmorgan13 speak out on the latest setback in their equal pay fight and what’s next. https://t.co/0nOJnS4zxy https://t.co/iJhHszhKyB

Rapinoe took issue with the judge's ruling that the USWNT made $24.5 million over the course of 111 games in the time period laid out in the lawsuit, for an average of $220,747 per game, whereas the men made $18.5 million across 87 games and made $212,639 per game. She said:

"I was very shocked with the ruling and the explanation that was given. Basically it's like, if I earn $1 every time I play and a man earns $3, just because I win 10 games and he only wins three games and so I make $10 and he made $9, I'm not sure how that's me making more money while having to essentially win everything we could have possibly won over these past few years."

One of the issues with the judge's ruling is that had the men qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, even if they would have lost all three games in Russia, their per-game average would have bumped up to $256,169 when taking into account their $2.5 million qualifying bonus and the player bonus of $68,750 for making the team, per Murray. They also would have earned $6,875 per game at the tournament.

The central argument being presented by the USWNT is that they have to win far more games to earn the same amount of money as the men. Rapinoe argued that the judge's decision to toss out their lawsuit essentially punished the women for being the best team in the world. 

"If we were under the men's contract we would be making three times more," she said. "So you can look at the total compensation and say, 'Oh, the women's team made a little bit more.' In that time that we've made just a little bit more, we've won two World Cups and we've won just about every single game that we've played in. So the rate of pay is just so different."

Other aspects of the lawsuit not related to equal pay, including issues of unequal working conditions regarding travel accommodations and other considerations, are still going forward. 

Morgan added that the ruling was shocking and that they planned to appeal the equal pay portion of the lawsuit. 

"This is definitely a hurdle in the road, but it's nothing that's gonna stop or deter us from what we have always been true to, and that's true equality in the sport," she said. "So we are still feeling optimistic, and we'll get through this."