U.S. Soccer’s Proposal for Equal Pay for Women and Men National Team Players
Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer sent out an update on the ongoing efforts regarding equal pay on March 7th, the day before the anniversary of the discrimination suit. In it, he details how the U.S. Soccer Federation has offered the Women’s World Cup-champions equal pay to the men. This offer is an olive branch before the trial date …
Addressed to Friends, Colleagues, and Supporters of U.S. Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer dispatched an update on the ongoing effort to resolve the issues regarding equal pay for the players on the Women’s National Team (WNT).
Here is a link to the text of the entire letter on U.S. Soccer. Cordeiro’s update opens with:
“U.S. Soccer has long been committed to fair and equitable compensation, regardless of gender. While the Men’s National Team (MNT) and WNT contracts are indeed different, these compensation models are a result of good-faith bargaining with two separate unions, each with different goals when they negotiated their agreements.”
“Last month, we offered the WNT Players Association multiple contract options, which we strongly believe address the team’s goals as they have been presented to us by the players and their representatives.”
“In particular, we have offered to provide identical compensation to our women’s and men’s players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer.”
Cordeiro’s update continues with comments stating that the WNT has “repeatedly declined our invitation to meet on the premise that our proposal does not include U.S. Soccer agreeing to make up the difference in future prize money awarded by FIFA for the Men’s and Women’s World Cups, a number that would be more than $34 million today.”
FIFA’s prize money for winning the Women’s World Cup in 2019 was $4 million. For becoming the champions of the 2018 Men’s World Cup, the prize money was $38 million.
$4 Million compared to $38 Million. That is a huge difference in FIFA prize money.
While the question remains on how to deal with the discrepancy of FIFA World Cup prize money — the funds are determined by FIFA, not U.S. Soccer — and, it is clear that U.S. Soccer is working on reaching an agreement before the trial date descends.
The question is, can the U.S. use their influence to create a more equitable and fair payout from FIFA for women?
Acknowledging that there is a severe differential in World Cup prize money that FIFA awards to the men’s and women’s championship teams, U.S. Soccer has yet to propose a solution to the problem.
There are so many questions still left to answer. Who is really responsible for making up the difference if FIFA’s prize money remains so different?
The validity of the women’s equal pay lawsuit against their employer, U.S. Soccer does not seem to be an issue. It is clear, women were paid less. But has there been consistent discrimination?
The Men’s National team is backing up their Red, White and Blue female teammates and has come out in support of the U.S. women team.
Even U.S. Soccer now agrees men and women should be paid equally.
There does seem to be a question of what the word equal means. Most kindergarten kids have a definition, so it seems odd that this is part of the problem but transparency is clearly an issue. A spokeswoman for the players, Molly Levinson, maintains that U.S. Soccer is offering equal pay based on pay rates for the Men that were set in 2011. According to the Wall Street Journal, Levinson said: “the Federation made no commitment to match the men’s new deal going forward. There is no compromising on equal pay.”
Many of the women who have played for the U.S. National team are shocked that the question of equal pay is still a conversation, stating the problem should have been resolved ages ago.
But should and is the Federation responsible for paying out the millions of dollars to make up FIFA’s prize money discrepancy? And, how would this impact the Federation’s budget and the growth of soccer in the USA?