Apr 12, 2021 - Sports

U.S. women's soccer team wins partial deal on equality

Megan Rapinoe #15 and Alex Morgan #13 of the United States celebrate winning the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium on February 24, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

U.S. women's soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan celebrate winning the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium on in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A federal judge approved a partial agreement between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the women's national team on unequal working conditions, per AP.

Why it matters: The approval clears the way for the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) to appeal a ruling last May against the world champions on equal pay returns.

Of note: The deal approved by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, in the Central District of California, covers equitable working conditions including for the "use of charter flights for travel, venue selection, the number of support staff and hotel accommodations," ESPN notes.

What they're saying: USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinson said in a statement, "Finally, giving these athletes access to facilities, training, care and professional support is the next step needed in the long and hard work to grow the game of women’s football."

  • She added that the team would appeal the court's equal pay decision, "which does not account for the fact that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job."
"We are committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve and our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and our country."

The other side: The U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement the governing body expected the USWNT to appeal, but it remained hopeful "that we can come to a resolution outside of the court system."

  • "U.S. Soccer is 100% committed to equal pay," it said, adding that it had offered the USWNT "the identical compensation provided to our men's players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer."
"Unfortunately, the USWNT has not accepted our offer or our longstanding invitation to meet to try to find a resolution unless U.S. Soccer first agrees to make up the difference between the men’s and Women’s World Cup prize money, which is determined, controlled and paid for by FIFA."
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