2. ⚽️ U.S. Soccer says women's team paid more than men's
The U.S. Soccer Federation released a letter Monday claiming that it's paid the World Cup champion women's team more than the men's national team in recent years — citing figures disputed by the USWNT, Axios' Rebecca Falconer reports.
Why it matters: The letter's release comes ahead of mediation in the USWNT's pay-equity lawsuit against the governing body, the Wall Street Journal notes.
By the numbers: The letter states that women’s players were paid $34.1 million in salaries and bonuses by the federation from 2010 to 2018, while the men were paid $26.4 million over the same period.
- It also says that the USWNT generated $101.3 million over the course of 238 games from 2009–2019, whereas the men's team generated $185.7 million over 191 games.
Yes, but: Comparing compensation between the two national teams is tricky because the pay structure is based on different collective bargaining agreements, per AP.
- The women's side has a base salary, while the men are paid primarily based on matches and performance.
What they're saying: USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement provided to Axios that the numbers the USSF used are "utterly false," adding...
"This is a sad attempt by the USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress."
"The USSF has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally. This is why they use words like 'fair and equitable,' not equal in describing pay."
The big picture: Democratic presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio pledged this month to use executive action to guarantee equal pay for national sports teams if Congress failed to act.
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has introduced a bill to deny funding for the 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer guarantees equal pay for the men's and women's teams.