Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The USWNT's claim that they had long been underpaid was rejected by a federal judge on Friday, after the players accused the U.S. Soccer Federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination" last year.

Driving the news: In a written decision, Judge R. Gary Klausner said the women hadn't provided enough evidence of pay discrimination to take the issue to the scheduled June 16 trial.

  • According to Klausner, the USWNT rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure as the men in 2017, opting instead for a deal that promised more security (higher base compensation) but a lower pay ceiling.
  • Klausner concluded that the plaintiffs "cannot now retroactively deem their [contract] worse than the [men's contract] ... when they themselves rejected such a structure."
  • Klausner also concluded that from 2015 to 2019 the women were paid more than the men by U.S. Soccer.

The other side: In an appearance on "Good Morning America" on Monday, USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe said the women were never offered the same contract as the men, undercutting Judge Klausner's dismissal.

  • She also pointed out that, while the women did in fact make more than the men over the past five years, it's because the women won two World Cups and played more games, as the men failed to even qualify for theirs.

What's next: The team is appealing the decision. The case is still scheduled to go to trial on June 16, albeit with a narrower focus (i.e. unequal treatment regarding travel) that falls short of the "equal pay" precedent the players hoped for.

"We are shocked and disappointed ... 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 will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender."
Molly Levinson, USWNT spokeswoman

Timeline:

  • March 2019: Three months before the start of the Women's World Cup, the USWNT files a gender-discrimination suit against U.S. Soccer, alleging the federation pays them less and treats them worse than their male counterparts.
  • July 2019: After dominating the World Cup from start to finish, the USWNT clinches the title in France, and the crowd erupts in chants of "Equal pay!" A ticker-tape parade in New York follows, and the movement continues to build.
  • March 2020: In a legal filing widely condemned as misogynistic, the USSF argues that the pay disparity between men and women is justified because "indisputable science" proves that women are inferior athletically. Sponsors blast the federation, and president Carlos Cordeiro resigns days later.

The big picture: "U.S. Soccer has said that compensating the women at the level they demand would be ruinously expensive," writes the New Yorker's Louisa Thomas (for reference, they're seeking ~$67 million in back pay).

  • "To avoid it, they pursued a scorched-earth policy, and there will be costs to that, too."

Go deeper: U.S. women's soccer team plans to appeal equal pay decision

Go deeper

Gender wealth gap increasing amid pandemic, women's financier says

Ellevest Co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck Photo: Axios screenshot

The gender wealth gap has been growing during the coronavirus pandemic, Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of financial service company Ellevest, said at an Axios event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Women have had to deal with a disproportionate amount of job loss during the pandemic because they're more likely to have jobs deemed essential, Krawcheck noted.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.