For a national team that used to travel coach while the men sat in first class, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team scored a major victory. After years of litigation focused on equal pay and benefits, the women’s team received a settlement agreement for past discrimination and future equal pay and bonuses. The settlement was contingent upon achieving new collective bargaining agreements for women and men.
The U. S. Soccer Federation employs both teams. President Cindy Parlow Cone, a former national team player and president since 2020, said, “There were moments when I thought it was all going to fall apart, and then it came back together, and it’s a real credit to all the different groups coming together, negotiating at one table.” According to the Boston Globe, the federation will be the first American national governing body to pay equally for its men’s and women’s teams.
This becomes complicated, because there is an international and a US governing body. The US governing body will now pool the funds it receives from the international body and distribute them equally to all players.
There are many facets of the agreements. Women gave up a guaranteed annual salary in order to benefit from equal wages and bonuses. The distribution of the World Cup funds will be equal for all U.S. team players. Both teams receive a share of ticket, broadcast and sponsor revenue, and the men players receive child care.
The impressive result is that the men’s and women’s teams and others worked together to achieve this victory.
The women’s team endured discrimination for years. They used their fourth World Cup victory and many laws to resolve the inequities. With a functioning Equal Rights Amendment, this would have been a much quicker and less painful process.
The right to equality based on sex would have been self-evident.