Last Friday the USWNT took a partial-loss in its ongoing wage discrimination lawsuit the players filed against the U.S. Soccer Federation on March 8, 2019.
The Central District Court of California, under judge R. Gary Klausner, resulted in a motion for summary judgement after last Friday’s court decision regarding the United States Women’s National Team’s wage discrimination lawsuit.
While some claims in the lawsuit are moving forward with another trial mid-June, including that of unequal travel accommodations and staffing, the heart of the issue, unequal pay, was rejected and dismissed.
Klausner denied the equal pay claims because,
“…U.S. Soccer had substantiated its argument that the women’s team had actually earned more ‘on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis’ than the men’s team during the years at issue in the lawsuit,”
as noted in his 32-page decision and highlighted in New York Times. This statement led Klausner to rule against the USWNT’s contest for equal pay and instead, in favor of U.S. Soccer.
Through their spokeswoman, Molly Levinson, the players are set to appeal Klausner’s decision as early as today, Monday, May 4.
Levinson also took to Twitter stating that,
“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay. We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be values as lesser just because of their gender.”
The initial fight for equality took place on March 30, 2016 when Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Becki Sauerbrunn, and former USWNT keeper Hope Solo, filed a wage discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. With no advancement in the three years following the wage discrimination complaint, and a united fight for equality amongst all 28 players of the USWNT, the team shifted gears from simply filing a complaint to suing U.S. Soccer in 2019.
On March 8, 2019, the USWNT filed a lawsuit and accused U.S. Soccer for discriminatory treatment. Poetically suing the Federation on International Women’s Day, the argument included more than 41 claims. Some of the notions accentuated unequal playing, training, and travel conditions, unequal staffing, unequal promotion for games, unequal time in training camps and playing games, but most importantly, unequal pay.
Carlos Cordeiro, former U.S. Soccer president, replied to the 2019 lawsuit earlier this year arguing that the USWNT’s claims were false and that men were superior to women due to “indisputable science,” quickly adding fuel to the team’s fire. While U.S. Soccer received a new president, Cindy Parlow Cone, the Federation still pressed on not fully committed to the cause of the USWNT, resulting in a continued battle for equality on and off the pitch.
After the defeat in last Friday’s court decision, several players took to social media to express their stance. Some examples include Tweets from Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, and Ali Krieger—just to name a few.
Along with the players, various public figures like Joe Biden and Billie Jean King added to the social media outpour.
Biden’s words rallied support for the USWNT while Jean’s Tweet stated,
“This is a setback, but it is not the end of the fight. The pursuit of equality is a marathon not a sprint, and this lawsuit has generated a meaningful conversation about the treatment of women in sports. One ruling does not diminish its impact.”
As the fight for equality continues Levinson comments that the USWNT will “appeal and press on” and will continue to use “bravery and courage and perseverance to stand up to” the obstacles ahead.
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