Players from the United States women’s national team have settled their class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) for a total of $24 million, the two sides announced in a court filing on Tuesday.
In settling the suit, the players will receive a lump sum payment of $22 million. This amount will be distributed in a manner proposed by the USWNT players and approved by the District Court. U.S. Soccer will also pay an additional $2 million into an account to benefit the USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer. Each player will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from this fund.
The settlement is contingent on a new collective bargaining agreement being ratified by the players on the USWNT. Once this takes place, final approval of the settlement by the District Court will be scheduled. According to a statement from the players, “This will fully resolve the litigation.”
The USSF has also committed to providing an equal rate of pay going forward for the women’s and men’s national teams “in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.” The issue of World Cup bonuses had long been a point of contention for the players.
“There’s no real justice in this other than this never happening again,” OL Reign and U.S. international midfielder Megan Rapinoe told ESPN. “With the settlement of the working conditions and this settlement which is contingent upon a CBA that will have equal pay going forward, there’s no other way to look at it than just a monumental win for women’s sports and women’s soccer, in particular.”
The women’s players’ union, the USWNTPA, echoed Rapinoe’s sentiments, calling the settlement “an important step in righting the many wrongs of the past.”