The US women’s national soccer team has been wildly successful in these past years. After accumulating many championships, such as the Olympics in 2012 and the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in 2014, the team believed they deserved more recognition from the US Soccer Federation.
In April 2016, five players on the women’s national team filed a wage discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, the federal agency that enforces civil right laws against discrimination in the workplace. They based the complaint on the fact that they were being underpaid compared to the men’s soccer team.
They do have valid points. The women’s soccer team is vastly more successful than the men on the international stage. The girls have captured gold in half of the world cups, while the men have medaled once in 1930.
In early 2019 frustration from the lack of progress had grown amongst the players and they decided to file a complaint for discrimination directly against the US soccer federation. The women argued that they weren’t being treated as well as the men in every aspect, varying from pay, to meals and even hotel accommodations at tournaments. At that point, the lawsuit had grown from five players to 28 and had gained the attention of the american public.
The US soccer federation tried to defend themselves by providing the court with documents proving that the women had actually been paid more over the past few years than the men. However this was widely viewed as being a twisted manipulation of the truth considering the women had earned many performance bonuses. In February, after many years of negotiating, the team even put a number out that would end the lawsuit, 67 million dollars.
Yesterday the judge in charge of the case, Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, delivered devastating news to the team. While he did allow some claims to go to trial, he rejected the most important one. He decided to side with the US Soccer Federation on the fact that the men’s team did technically earn less money than the women’s during the period of the lawsuit.
After fighting for their cause for many years, this verdict was a huge blow for the girls, however they seem motivated to continue working towards their goal. Megan Rapinoe, the team captain, tweeted this message : “We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.” and a spokesperson for the club has confirmed the team will be appealing the verdict.
More information will be released as it becomes available.
Information source : https:www.nytimes.com
Picture source : https://www.cbssports.com
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