The American footballers have reached a significant agreement with the American governing body of sports to end the six-year legal struggle over equal pay, a deal that promises them bonuses of $ 24 million, which coincides with the men’s.
The U.S. Football Federation and the women announced Tuesday a deal that would split players $ 22 million, about one-third of what they demanded as compensation. The USSF has also agreed to set up a $ 2 million fund to benefit players in their post-football careers and charitable efforts to advance women’s sports.
The USSF is committed to ensuring equal pay rates for women’s and men’s national teams – including World Cup bonuses – in accordance with collective agreements with unions that represent women and men separately.
“For our generation, the realization that we’re going to get out of the game in an exponentially better place than when we found it – that’s all,” said 36-year-old midfielder Megan Rapino in a telephone interview with . “That’s the thing, because, frankly, there’s no justice in all this if we don’t make sure it never happens again.”
The calculation was a victory for the players, who caused the fans to chant “Equal pay!” when they won their second title in a row in France in 2019. And it was a success for USSF President Cindy Parlow Cohn, a former player who became head of the federation in March 2020.
Cone replaced Carlos Cardeira, who resigned after the federation filed a legal statement claiming that women have less physical ability and responsibility than their male counterparts.
“It’s just a step towards rebuilding a relationship with the women’s team. I think this is a great achievement, and I am excited about the future and working with them, ”Kono said. “Now we can shift the focus to other things, most importantly, developing the game at all levels and empowering girls and women.”
The U.S. women have won four World Cups since the program began in 1985, and the men have not reached the semifinals since 1930.
Five American stars, led by Morgan and Rapino, began the issue with a complaint to the Federal Equal Employment Commission in April 2016. Three years later, the women filed a lawsuit seeking damages under the Federal Equal Pay Act and Section VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In December 2020, the parties settled part of the working conditions, addressing issues such as charter flights, location and playgrounds. They had to argue on March 7 in the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals in an attempt to restore an equal portion of the payment rejected by the U.S. District Court.
“The settlement announced today is an important step in correcting many of the grievances of the past,” the women’s team said in a statement.
Although the employment contract has yet to be concluded and ratified to replace the deal, which expires on March 31, the settlement was a huge step.
“It’s so nice to feel that we can start building a relationship with American football that has been severed for so many years because of the discrimination we’ve faced,” said Morgan, a 32-year-old forward. “To finally get to this point, it seems we can almost sigh with relief.”
The players were able to postpone legal distractions to continue their success on the field.
“The extra hours, stress and external pressure and discrimination we face, I mean, sometimes you think, why the hell was I born a woman?” Morgan posed. “And then sometimes you think how incredible it is to be able to fight for what you really believe in and stand by these women. … It was more than going out on the field and wanting to be the starting point, scoring goals, winning or wishing glory. “
$ 22 million will be divided into separate amounts offered by the players, subject to the approval of the district court.
Cone said the federation’s method of leveling the World Cup bonuses has not yet been determined. So far, the federation has based bonuses on payments from FIFA, which has allocated $ 400 million for the men’s tournament in 2018, including $ 38 million – the French champion, and $ 30 million – for the women’s tournament in 2019, including $ 4 million – the US champion .
American men play under the terms of a The CBA expired in December 2018.
Rapino criticized both Cardeira and his predecessor, Sunila Gulati, who led the USSF in 2006-18. Cordeira is seeking to regain his seat from Conn when the USSF National Council convenes on March 5 to vote for a four-year term.
“What Cindy did was she confessed to the crime and apologized for it,” Rapino said. “Sunil could not discriminate and pay us fairly and equally. Carlos could have done it, and they decided not to do it. … I think Cindy has shown great strength in this, and I think the other two, frankly, just showed a lot of weakness and really showed their true face, allowing it to happen for so long. ”