Feb 22, 2022 - Sports

U.S. Soccer and women's players settle equal pay suit

Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates with teammates Alex Morgan and Samantha Mewis after scoring during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match.
Megan Rapinoe (on right) celebrating with teammates Alex Morgan (center) and Samantha Mewis after scoring during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match in Lyon, France, in July 2019. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

U.S. women's national soccer team players settled their gender-based pay discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Monday for $24 million, the bulk of which will go toward backpay for the players, both sides announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It concludes a yearslong fight between the federation and the players, including key members of the 2019 World Cup-winning women's team, ending with a promise from the federation to equalize pay between the men's and women's team in all competitions, including the World Cup.

  • That promise, though, will be contingent upon the teams’ next collective bargaining agreements, which will resolve all remaining claims in the lawsuit when it is approved by a district court.
  • While the federation can control how much money is funneled to its national teams, it has no control of FIFA's World Cup prize money, which differs drastically for men and women.

What they're saying: "Getting to this day has not been easy. The U.S. Women’s National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes," the parties said in a joint statement.

  • "Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow," the statement added.
  • "Together, we dedicate this moment to them. We look forward to continuing to work together to grow women’s soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

Go deeper