U.S. men's players association calls for women to be paid triple what men earn

In its strongest statement yet about the state of labor relations between U.S. Soccer and the men's and women's national teams, the United States National Soccer Team Players Association issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday, blasting the federation for what it described as selling "a false narrative to the public and even to members of Congress."

The USNSTPA said the federation has discriminated against U.S. women's national team players and called for the federation to significantly increase the pay of the women in their next collective bargaining agreement to take effect in 2022.

USNSTPA on past labor deals:

-- Men's national team players agreed to their CBA in 2011 because the deal followed the economic collapse of 2008 and the federation claimed its economic future was uncertain.

-- Since then, federation revenues from national team events and sponsorship, television and licensing deals has exploded. (According to its own financial statements, those revenues increased from $26.8 million in fiscal year 2010 to $105.5 million in fiscal year 2016.)

-- In 2017, the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement that the USNSTPA says was a worse deal than the men got six years earlier. The USNSTPA argues that the reason the women agreed to the bad deal they took was the pressure they felt to save the NWSL -- the third attempt at women's pro soccer -- from collapse.

-- The federation should have tied any deal to a fair share of the revenue players generate.

Current labor positions:

Members of the women's national team have been engaged in a gender discrimination suit against U.S. Soccer that was first filed in 2016 as an EEOC complaint and is slated to go to trial in federal court under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in May. U.S. Soccer's position is that compensation for each team is the result of separate collective bargaining agreements, and that the pay structures are different as a result.

Meanwhile, the men have been operating under the terms of the own deal for more than a year. Regarding a new deal, the USNSTPA says the federation is taking the "frivolous position" that the men's compensation should stay at 2011-2018 levels.

USNSTPA on what's next:

-- It calls on the federation to triple the pay of the women in their next collective bargaining agreement to take effect in 2022 compared to what it agreed to pay the men in their CBA reached in 2011 or what federation agrees to pay the men in a new CBA. (The men's CBA expired at the end of 2018.)

-- It calls on "the courts, juries, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Congress, new Federation leadership, or a combination of all five" to reform the federation.

-- It calls on U.S. Soccer sponsors to not support the federation until there's a new CBA that pays a fair share of national team game and commercial revenues. (Of note, the current commercial agreements with SUM and Nike expire at the end of 2022. With the 2026 World Cup co-hosted by the USA in the picture, the federation should expect to receive a huge jump in revenues from their new commercial agreements.)

U.S. Soccer's response to USNSTPA's statement:

"We have read the statement released today by the union representing the players of the USMNT. Our goal is to determine fair and equitable compensation for our USMNT and USWNT, while also being mindful of how and where we invest our overall financial resources so that we can continue to focus on investing in the development of our players, coaches and referees at all levels. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the players' unions with the intention of finding a resolution that works for all parties."

U.S. women's star Megan Rapinoe's response via players' spokesperson Molly Levinson:

''Our great hope is that 2020 will be the year of equal pay. We are grateful for the support of our male colleagues, and also for the overwhelming solidarity from millions of fans and sponsors around the world who have stood with us to fight USSF's discrimination. Achieving equal pay is so much bigger than our team and our playing fields -- women in work forces everywhere deserve equality now."

11 comments about "U.S. men's players association calls for women to be paid triple what men earn".
  1. Sean Guillory, February 13, 2020 at 7:02 a.m.

    At the end of the day, the big difference in pay is at the club level.  There is no WNT player that will make what Pulisic is making at Chelsea($8mln/yr) playing on a women's team.  Until that happens there will not be "equal pay"

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, February 13, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.

    US law prohibits US employers from engaging in gender discrimination. It also prohibits US employers from paying women a lower wage than men are paid at the same establishment. What you are talking about is not related to either legal requirement.

    The fact is that while running for USSF president, Cordeiro admitted that USSF discriminated against women, and that it must stop immediately. The most glaring violation is the fact that USSF did not start a girl's DA until ten years after it started a boy's program. That only happened after the first gender discrimination complaint was filed. It is gender discrimination in the administration of amateur soccer on a massive level.

    The gender discrimination complaint is not simply a suit to give the WNT players a bigger paycheck. Since Cordeiro became president, USSF has not ended gender discrimination and has been dishonest to the public. 

  3. Paul Berry replied, February 13, 2020 at 9:55 a.m.

    This isn't about club salaries. 

  4. Wallace Wade, February 13, 2020 at 7:46 a.m.

    If it's gender discrimination, I would have liked to see the Women's team refuse to participate in the "Victory Tour"

  5. Mark Levinstein replied, February 13, 2020 at 12:52 p.m.

    The women have a 2017-2021 CBA that prohibits them from striking ot refusing to play.  

  6. David Ruder, February 13, 2020 at 8:55 a.m.

    Woman star soccer players should get x3 what men get, so they can beat up on poor undeveloped foreign teams 13 to 0 and then celebrate like they just won the Superbowl. Woman's soccer has become a drag on the development of traditional men's soccer should be separated have them run their own business. All we ever hear are complaints from them which are creating negative perception of soccer in general. Soccer in America still has a long way to go. 

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, February 13, 2020 at 9:37 a.m.

    "Women's soccer has become a drag on the development of traditional men's soccer...."

    I just spewed my coffee! 

  8. frank schoon replied, February 14, 2020 at 12:40 p.m.

    Dave , can you be more specific when you state the women are a drag on men's soccer....do you mean financially, is the men's league subsidizing the women's league or what. But if you think women are a drag on men's quality of play, I disagree....The only drag I see is poor coaching or development/training teachniques which I note on both the women and men soccer.... 

  9. R2 Dad, February 13, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

    My thought is that USSF will finally do the "right thing", but only after exhausting every "wrong" solution first.

  10. Kevin Leahy, February 13, 2020 at 12:49 p.m.

    The stuff that this federation does or doesn't do boggle the mind! Why do they continue to drag their feet? It becomes more costly by the day. If you aren't helping, step aside.

  11. R2 Dad, February 14, 2020 at 10:43 a.m.

    Who will pay to save NWSL? 9 teams does not a league make....

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