US men’s team say federation discriminates against USA’s female players

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The US men’s national team have urged US Soccer to sharply increase pay for the world champion women’s team and accused the governing body of making low-ball offers in negotiations with the men.

The union for the women’s team have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer, which will be heard in court in May. The women agreed to a collective bargaining agreement in April 2017 that extends through 2021. The men’s labor contract expired at the end of 2018.

“The women’s 2017-2021 deal is worse than the men’s 2011-2018 deal,” the men’s union said in a statement on Wednesday. “The federation continues to discriminate against the women in their wages and working conditions. … What we believe should happen is simple. Pay the women significantly more than our recently expired men’s deal. In our estimation, the women were due at least triple what our expired deal was worth in player compensation.”

The men claimed the federation wants their pay to stay at the same level as in their expired contract. “It’s a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that what they did to the women in 2017 is indefensible,” the statement said.

Molly Levinson, who has acted as a spokesperson for the women’s players in their lawsuit against US Soccer, released a statement on behalf of World Cup star Megan Rapinoe. “Our great hope is that 2020 will be the year of equal pay. We are grateful for the support of our male colleagues, and also for the overwhelming solidarity from millions of fans and sponsors around the world who have stood with us to fight USSF’s discrimination.”

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