United States' team celebrates with trophy after winning the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

USWNT Players Win Lawsuit for $24 Million

Tick, tick, tick since 2016. The clock has winded down as USWNT women soccer players have waited patiently for their time to come. Six years have gone past, and the ruling is in their favor.

Their time is now.

The Settlement

A group of five professional soccer players — Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd — had their voices heard Tuesday as they reached a $24 million settlement with the U.S. soccer federation that guarantees equal pay between male and female players in U.S. soccer.

“We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility,” forward Morgan said in a statement. “As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender.”

The group filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016 and inspired 28 members of the USWNT to file a general discrimination lawsuit against U.S. soccer in 2019.

World Cup Disparities

Players in the federation will split $24 million per the agreement. Payments will balance out to players who participated in the 2019 World Cup.

The women’s U.S. soccer team received an estimated $110,000 per player after winning the highly prestigious Women’s FIFA World Cup in France in 2019. In comparison, the men’s team would have received roughly $1.1 million per player had they won the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018.

The 2019 women’s stadium home jersey is the most sold soccer jersey in one season – men’s and women’s – ever sold on Nike.com. Still, it wasn’t enough to warrant change.

“Equal Pay!” U.S. fans shouted when the women’s team won the 2019 World Cup.

“There is no justice unless this never happens again,” midfielder Rapinoe said. “It’s all part of the system.”

What’s Coming for Women’s Soccer

The last challenge needed to be overcome is the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the player’s unions.  The CBA will expire Dec. 31, 2022 and the new one drafted by March 31.

“I just think it’s so difficult sometimes to talk about and to articulate the kind of discrimination, abuse, inequity and disrespect that so many women feel so often in their job,” Rapinoe said. “I think we were able to start to put a voice to that.”

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