Megan Rapinoe, the outspoken and controversial star of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), bragged Tuesday morning after the women’s team settled with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) for about a third of what the women originally demanded.
“I think the door’s already been opened, to be honest,” Rapinoe told NBC’s Today Show, according to the Daily Mail. “You look at the women’s hockey team. It seems like everywhere you look, here we are performing well beyond just the constraints of our sport. I think we are really in the midst of a an incredible turning point in women’s sports”
“I think we’re all going to look back on this moment with incredible pride. If you’re not paying attention to this right now and what’s happening in women’s sports, you’re sleeping on the whole thing,” Rapinoe added. “For us as players I’m just so proud of the way we stuck together and really just kind of put our foot down. This is a huge win for us.”
The women’s team first sued the USSF six years ago after their 2015 World Cup win
The deal reached between the women’s team and the USSF on Tuesday will give the players $22 million to split, which is about one-third of the money they demanded in their lawsuit, the Associated Press reported. “USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women,” the outlet added.
The USSF also committed “committed to providing an equal rate of pay for the women’s and men’s national teams — including World Cup bonuses — subject to collective bargaining agreements with the unions that separately represent the women and men,” according to the outlet.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the women’s pay discrimination claim in 2020 because they had rejected to be paid using the same structure as the men’s team.
“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
It is unclear exactly how the USSF will equalize World Cup bonuses, since those are based on payments from FIFA, an international organization not included in the women’s team’s lawsuit. FIFA in 2018 earmarked $400 million for the 2018 men’s tournament, which included $38 million to the championship team from France. FIFA only earmarked $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million to the U.S. championship team.
Back in 2015, CBS reported that the men’s team received 9% of the revenue generated by the 2010 World Cup — which amounted to $348 million. The women’s team received 13% of the 2015 World Cup revenue, but because the women’s team brought in less revenue, they only received $10 million.
The women’s team also receives a base salary and benefits, which the men’s team does not.
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