US Women's National Soccer Team Reaches $24M Agreement on Equal Pay

    Image copyright: Getty Images [via The New York Times]

    The Facts

    • A settlement with the US Soccer Federation, including a $24M payment and the promise of equal gender-pay going forward, stands to resolve the USWNT's 6-yr long lawsuit.

    • $22M of the payment is earmarked for backpay. The remainder will seed a fund to support players' post-career goals and charitable efforts.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The women's team has won far more World Cup titles and Olympic medals than the men's. A legal guarantee that they'll receive equitable compensation and working conditions is long overdue. The settlement for backpay tacitly admits that these highly decorated athletes have been underpaid in past years and paves the way for women in all industries who are paid less for the same or better work.

    Narrative B

    The settlement is not an admitance of wrongdoing by US Soccer. Pay discrepancies were not due to gender discrimination but the women's team's union negotiating a different salary system that contained higher guarantees and lower bonuses. This deal is simply US Soccer pandering to public sentiment and managing its brand in a hostile environment.

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