The United States Soccer Federation is claiming that the players on the U.S. Women's National Team were paid more than the men from 2010 to 2018. Per The Daily Mail, the USSF paid the women $34.1 million in salary and game bonuses during the eight-year span while the men were paid $26.4 million. These numbers came from a letter released by U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro.
However, Molly Levinson, the U.S. women's team spokesperson is not buying it, per a statement shared: "This is a sad attempt by USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress. The USSF fact sheet is not a "clarification. It is a ruse."
This claim comes on the heels of the women's team filing a federal lawsuit on March 8 for gender discrimination. The women are fighting for equal pay since the women have said the men make more money despite not having the same success.
The Daily Mail reported the women received $250,000 in bonuses for winning the World Cup this year. Had the men won the World Cup, they would have received close to $1.2 million.
USWNT co-captain Megan Rapinoe has been outspoken about equal pay recently and she recently discussed the lawsuit in an interview with the New York Times.
"The lawsuit covers a lot," Rapinoe said. "In a broad sense, it's about equal investment and equal care of both the men's and women's sides. Whether it's youth team programs, marketing, the branding of the team, how they sell tickets, what they spend advertising money on, what they pay each side, what they spend on support staff, what they spend on coaching, what's the travel budget — it's all of that. The compensation is sort of the last big part.
"Without having everything else equal, it's hard to have a conversation about how much each team is worth because each team's value and potential isn't being reached. At least ours is not. I don't know exactly what they're doing on the men's side, but I suspect they deserve more pay as well. Both of us are cash cows for the federation, and they're certainly making a ton of money. I'm not sure that we're sharing in that."
The women's team has won four World Cups since 1991 as well as four Olympic gold medals since 1996. The men's best finish in the World Cup was third place in 1930 and they won the silver and bronze medals in the 1904 Summer Olympics.