The U.S. women’s national soccer team announced Tuesday that it reached a $24 million settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation in a landmark lawsuit over equal pay and equal working conditions.
The settlement includes backpay for previous World Cup prize money and commits that men and women players will be paid at an equal rate on all fronts including World Cup bonuses moving forward.
Women’s national team stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are among the players that had sued the federation for equal pay and equal working conditions in 2019. Rapinoe told “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday that the lawsuit represents justice for players across the board.
“Obviously, we have been in this for a long time, and coming from a long history of women who have fought to put this sport in a better place. I mean, I think pride comes to mind, just incredibly proud of the women on this team and all the women who this lawsuit represents,” Rapinoe said. “The thing I look forward to and am really proud of is that, you know, the justice comes in the next generation never having to go through what we went through. It’s equal pay from here on out.”
The women’s team originally sought $66 million under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Morgan said the settlement ends years of fighting for equal rights and is a step towards mending the relationship between the federation and the women players.
“I think an important piece of it was equalizing not only the money moving forward but the World Cup bonuses as well and working with U.S. Soccer and the Men’s Players Association to find a way to equalize that prize money going forward,” said Morgan. “This is a huge step and mending that relationship with U.S. Soccer is also a big piece of that and we feel very comfortable and happy and proud with the moment we got to right now because it is a huge win for us, for women’s sports, for women in general, and it is a moment we can all celebrate right now.”
The USWNT team has won four World Cups — more than any women’s soccer team in the world. The men’s team has won none.
Rapinoe said that the settlement helps women soccer players focus on the sport itself.
“The biggest piece of the legacy that us of this generation can take is that the players coming up next will have a much better ability to just play. With that comes them probably being way better than we ever were. That’s kind of the goal,” said Rapinoe.