Today marks a huge victory for women in sports. After a long fight for equal pay, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) has finally agreed to pay its U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) and U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) teams equally.
The deal promises to “set the global standard moving forward in international soccer,” per CNN. Under the new agreement, USSF becomes the first federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money. The U.S. Soccer women’s team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer in March 2019, though the parties didn’t reach an agreement until early 2022.
“This is a truly historic moment,” said U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement, per CNN. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world. U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States.”
The agreement does not stop at equal pay but also aims to give the USWNT more visibility with “broadcast, partner, and sponsorship revenue with a 50/50 split of that share divided equally between USWNT and USMNT,” per CNN. The deal also covers other areas, including child care, parental leave, short-term disability, mental health impairment, travel, and equal quality of venues and field playing surfaces.
“They said equal pay for men and women was not possible, but that did not stop us and we went ahead and achieved it,” said Walker Zimmerman, a member of the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association leadership group, per CNN. “We hope this will awaken others to the need for this type of change, and will inspire FIFA and others around the world to move in the same direction.”