The U.S. soccer federation and the U.S. women's national team (USWNT) have finally reached an agreement to end a dispute over equal pay.
The dispute dates back to March 2019 when, on international Women’s Day, the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe helped to lead this fight, and their persistence in this area is part of our inspiration for our initiative Pay With Change. They, along with their teammates, have not only been talking about change, but creating it for years.
Back in 2019, Rapinoe told SI Swimsuit, “Obviously, we would love to not be in this fight. We would love to not have to file this lawsuit and not have to engage in this, but that’s just not what’s happening.”
We are so proud of these women for standing up for themselves and the change they have achieved. In 2019, Morgan told SI Swimsuit, “There’s not one woman that I’ve spoken to who hasn’t faced these challenges within her life. Some are faced with it more often than others, but we’re always faced with people or companies just tugging on the back of your shirt little by little, holding you back. And we continue to succeed even while being held back.”
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Under the agreement, current and former players involved in the case will receive a total of $22 million. U.S. Soccer will also pay an additional $2 million into an account designed to benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and other charitable efforts related to women’s soccer. Each player will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from this fund.
In addition to the financial terms agreed to in the settlement, U.S. soccer has committed to providing an equal rate of pay for the women’s and men’s national teams in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.
“This is just such a monumental step forward in feeling valued, feeling respected, and just mending our relationship with U.S. Soccer," Morgan told Good Morning America on Tuesday. "I not only see this as a win for our team or women’s sports but women in general. It’s just an incredible day and a day that we’re all really proud of.”
Morgan, a three-time Swimsuit Issue veteran, talked about her experience with the SI franchise: “I think that SI Swimsuit gives us an opportunity to feel empowered and to have that sense of inclusion, and I’m very proud to be able to express myself within the magazine.”