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The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Is the Best in the World and Still Can’t Get Equal Pay

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Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Women’s National Team celebrate after winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The United States Women’s National Team won its fourth World Cup Sunday, just months after filing a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. The women’s victory strengthens their case that they are paid less not just for performing the same job responsibilities as their male counterparts, but for out-performing them.

All members of the Women’s National Team and Men’s National Team are employed by the non-profit USSF, though they have separate player associations and collective bargaining agreements. In the lawsuit, the 28 members of the WNT accuse the USSF of purposefully paying female players substantially less than members of the MNT. The USSF has acknowledged the pay gap, though the federation has blamed outside forces, with an official noting that “market realities are such that the women do not deserve to be paid equally to the men,” according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs argue that this has remained the case “even during times when the WNT earned more profit, played more games, won more games, earned more championships, and/or garnered higher television audiences.” 

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