WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Federation has agreed to settle the claim of pay discrimination brought by Megan Rapinoe and other players on the Women’s National Team for $24 million dollars and a promise by U.S. Soccer to use the same  bonus scale for all future male and female competitions. The settlement is contingent on the parties agreeing on a new salary deal moving forward, although the women’s team previously rejected an identical contract to that of the men’s team.

During the time period at issue in this lawsuit, the Women’s National Team and the Men’s National Team were paid pursuant to separate collective bargaining agreements. While the men bargained for and played under a high-risk, pay-to-play contract that only paid players when they took the field, the women bargained for and played under a lower risk contract with guaranteed salaries and smaller bonuses. In addition, the players on the women’s team negotiated for and received guaranteed salaries, healthcare, severance pay, and other generous benefits that the players on the men’s team did not receive.

A federal court in Los Angeles ruled last year that the Soccer Federation did not engage in unlawful pay discrimination. The settlement comes as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was set to hear the players’ appeal.

IWLC filed a brief in support of U.S. Soccer in the Court of Appeals.

Jennifer C. Braceras director of Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) released the following statement: 

“Although U.S. Soccer had the law on its side, it caved to Megan Rapinoe and her merry band of social justice warriors to avoid additional negative publicity. From the beginning of this case, Rapinoe has disingenuously claimed that U.S. Soccer paid the female players discriminatorily, when in fact it paid them according to terms that they bargained for and agreed to.

It remains to be seen whether U.S. Soccer, the Men’s National Team, and the Women’s National Team can agree on a single pay scale for both teams. But I am confident that any high-risk, high-reward contract will come at the price of job security and financial stability. And this is not necessarily good for women.” 

Read IWLC’s brief HERE.



Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.