Members of the U.S. Women’s soccer team are celebrating a new contract with U.S. Soccer that will see their base pay bumped up by more than 30 percent alongside match bonuses that could potentially double some player’s incomes.
The U.S. Women’s soccer team made headlines last year by demanding equal pay with the U.S. Men’s team. In the process, five of the team’s top players filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging pay discrimination — a legal process that will continue even with the new contract. While the new contract will not increase women’s pay to the level of the men’s team, representatives for the women’s team said that other changes, including granting players greater control of their licensing and marketing rights, justified the compromise.
“We tried to completely change the methodology for how to define our value, and we made progress in that regard, and it changes the equation for the future,” said Becca Roux, executive director of the women’s team’s union.
Sunil Gulati, the presidential of U.S. Soccer, also praised the deal as an “equitable” shared victory.
“We’ve always had the most highly compensated women’s team in the world, and this puts them at even higher level. Their performance over all over the last quarter-century has put them at the top of their game. Financially the agreement gives the players security in a way that they haven’t had before and adds a number of other things that were very important to them,” Gulati said.
???????????????? Happy an agreement has been reached. ???? https://t.co/roXWP5YInh
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) April 5, 2017
The agreement came after as many as 16 players — dressed in matching team gear — took part in two days of discussions with Gulati and other U.S. Soccer representatives in Dallas last weekend.
An amazing photo on multiple levels: inside the USWNT labor talks Saturday (from team's since deleted Instagram story): pic.twitter.com/hjU5QPJ9Uf
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) April 5, 2017
“I am incredibly proud of this team and the commitment we have shown through this entire process,” said Megan Rapinoe, a player and member of the union’s C.B.A. committee. “While I think there is still much progress to be made for us and for women more broadly, I think the W.N.T.P.A. should be very proud of this deal and feel empowered moving forward.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.