New York governor signs equal pay bill prior to U.S. women's soccer championship parade

Alex Reimer
July 10, 2019 - 12:48 pm
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The U.S. women’s soccer team is seeing its impact spread well beyond the playing field. Prior to the club’s parade Wednesday, which took place in Manhattan and celebrated the USWNT’s second straight World Cup championship, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new pay equity law that mandates “equal pay for substantially similar work.” Members of the USWNT’s have become faces of the equal pay movement in recent weeks, voicing their discontent with the imbalanced pay structure between men and women soccer players in the U.S. and FIFA. 

"You should get paid the same amount whatever the job is," Cuomo said at a press conference, via The Hill. “These are women's soccer players. They play the same game that the men's soccer players play. By the way, they play it better.”

The USWNT is suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, citing the non-profit’s pay disparity. Even though the women’s team now generates more revenue in the U.S. than the men’s team –– $50.8 million compared to $49.9 million in 2018 –– they are payed substantially less. As cited in the suit, based on a schedule of 20 friendlies, a top-tier women’s national team player would earn $28,333 less than her male counterpart.

The USWNT signed a new collective bargaining agreement with the USSF in 2017. Under the previous contract, female players received more than $164,000 based on the 20-friendly schedule. 

Megan Rapinoe has been perhaps the most vocal equal pay proponent, calling out FIFA for the vast difference in prize money it hands out to the World Cup winners. And her message has resonated: fans were chanting “equal pay” at FIFA president Gianni Infantino as he took the field to congratulate the USWNT following their victory Sunday over the Netherlands. 

 

Related: Megan Rapinoe is great American, and brash U.S. women are great American story

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