A judge dismissed the U.S. women’s soccer team’s equal pay claim Friday, reminding them that they actually make more than the men’s team.
The U.S. women’s soccer team has been fighting for equal pay for months and sought $66 million in damages. The U.S. soccer federation argued that the women’s team was paid more overall than their male counterparts for the particular time period in dispute.
Although the women’s team claimed that was just because they played more games, Judge R. Gary Klausner disagreed. Klausner reminded the women’s team that they “both played more games and made more money than the MNT [men’s national team] per game,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY,” soccer star Megan Rapinoe tweeted after the decision.
The claim for equal pay was also dismissed because the U.S. women’s national team previously “rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure” as the men, according to Klausner.
“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote according to CBS News. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
The women’s team for the U.S. has won four Olympic medals and four FIFA World Cups, compared to the men’s zero wins on the same stage, CBS News reported. (RELATED: Nike Releases Video Celebrating Women’s World Cup Win)
— Tobin Heath (@TobinHeath) May 1, 2020
The U.S. soccer federation argued that male and female players have “materially different jobs” and that a person needs more skill to compete in men’s soccer, CBS News reported.
“The overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level is materially influenced by the level of certain physical attributes, such as speed and strength, required for the job,” the federation noted.
The U.S. team has also alleged that they have been discriminated against with various items such as money on airfare and hotels. Klausner is allowing this allegation to move forward in a trial set for June 16, the Associated Press reported.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” U.S. women’s soccer team spokeswoman Molly Levinson tweeted Friday. “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.”
The team plans to appeal the decision, Today.com reported.