Unequal Pay for More Than Equal Play?

Unequal Pay for More Than Equal Play?

Following the recent pay gap controversy inside women’s professional tennis, the New York Times reports that five star players from the US women’s national soccer team have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that their counterparts on the men’s national team are paid significantly more, despite the fact that the women’s team has performed significantly better. The team won their third World Cup last year, a gold medal in the last Olympics, and have become the standard bearer for soccer in the US, regularly drawing superior crowds and television ratings.

The women, who say they are filing on behalf of their teammates, have asked the commission to investigate the US Soccer Federation, which they report has paid them as little as 40 percent of what men’s team players make, and also shortchanged them on bonuses, appearance fees, and per diems:

The players involved in the complaint are among the most prominent and decorated female athletes in the world: the co-captains Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and goalkeeper Hope Solo. …

“We have been quite patient over the years with the belief that the federation would do the right thing and compensate us fairly,” Lloyd, the most valuable player of last year’s Women’s World Cup, said in a statement released by the players and [their lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler.]

Solo was more blunt in the statement, directly comparing the women’s achievements with those of the men’s national team.

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