Alex Morgan: 'We want to see what we can do at the negotiation table'

In the aftermath of U.S. Soccer's statement that it has offered players on the men's and women's national teams identical contract proposals for new collective bargaining agreements, U.S. star Alex Morgan was asked ahead of Thursday's USA-Paraguay game in Cleveland whether the offer will move the teams closer to equal or whether it was an attempt to divide the teams.

"Any commitment to equal pay publicly is good," she said. "However, we need to look line by line at what they're actually providing, because if you have equal, but it's not even what we got before or to the value that we are, then we still consider that to be not good enough. We will continue to work with U.S. Soccer moving forward, looking towards equal and fair payment and treatment."

The U.S. Women's National Team Player Association of which Morgan is a voting member tweeted that "USSF's PR stunts and bargaining through the media will not bring us any closer to a fair agreement. In contrast, we are committed to bargaining in good faith to achieve equal pay and the safest working conditions possible. The proposal that USSF made recently to us does neither."

The federation responded via its communications department on Twitter:

"An offer on paper of identical contracts to the USWNT and USMNT, and to discuss equalizing prize money, is real, authentic and in good faith. A publicity stunt is a 90-minute one-sided movie," in reference to "LFG," the HBO Max documentary about the women's equal fight, which has been focused on a lawsuit in federal court for more than two years but goes back many years before that.

Morgan, the named plaintiff in the equal pay lawsuit, said the players were in active negotiation with the federation to reach a new agreement on a collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires at the end of the year. (The agreement with the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association expired at the end of 2018.)

"We don't want to start the new year without a new CBA in effect," she said. "That's the No. 1 priority of the PA and our legal team."

Was she encouraged by the statements?

"It's difficult to say. We want to feel encouraged and we want to be optimistic. But we have seen a lot of statements before. What we really want to do is see what we can do at the negotiation table, see those statements be put into action in those negotiations. So, of course, we're always hopeful. You have to continue to have hope."

Morgan pointed to the recent agreement by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) with the Irish men's and women's national teams as an example of federations agreeing to equal pay for their female and male teams.

"I think we're moving in the right direction," he said.

The FAI agreed to play out the same match bonuses to men and women, but its statement simply referred to an "agreed equality of approach" on how to deal with payments from FIFA and UEFA for participation in World Cups or Euros.

The huge gap in payments FIFA and UEFA make to federations for the participation of their teams in men's and women's championships remains the issue federations around the world are dealing with.

U.S. Soccer has said it will not accept a deal with the men and women without an agreement to "equalize" the FIFA prize money.

The devil will be in the details about how to set equal bonus payments the men and women will agree to -- "to the value we are," as Morgan said -- and how to divide up moneys based on the differing fortunes of the two teams from World Cup to World Cup.

13 comments about "Alex Morgan: 'We want to see what we can do at the negotiation table'".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 16, 2021 at 1:22 p.m.

    Reportedly, in the current CBA's USSF promised the men a bigger performance bonus for advancing past the round of 16, than USSF promised the women for winning the world cup. That is hardly equal promises.

  2. Chris Madden, September 16, 2021 at 1:35 p.m.

    Equal pay means simply that the WNT players are paid exactly the same amount as the males players are paid on team that the WNT can either beat or tie in  a match! Anything else bogus. 

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, September 16, 2021 at 2:52 p.m.

    That isn't what the EPA means by equal pay. The EPA means getting paid the same for doing the same work. Not getting the same gross for working twice the hours. So usually the comparison is made by rates of pay. I.e, dollars per hour or per match.

  4. Wayne Norris replied, September 16, 2021 at 6:36 p.m.

    One of the problems with this situation is that the USWNT has positioned their argument as if they are hourly workers at Target where everyone gets $15 / hr.

    Entertainment (which soccer is)  has, is and always will be a system where compensation is based not on Equal Work but results defined by revenue or profits.

    NFL / NBA players make more than MLS players. Do they work more hours or harder? Or could it be they bring in Billions in TV?

    ridiculous!!

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, September 17, 2021 at 12:17 a.m.

    Now, There's a New Idea.!?!?!?... We should have the NFL players give up some of their Pay, to the USWNT....38 million is Chump Change for them.!!!

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, September 18, 2021 at 4:19 p.m.

    Wayne, only a few top stars negotiate a share of the gross. You may also be surprised to hear that female movie stars are paid much less than male movie stars. Gender discrimination in pay is found just about everywhere.

  7. Wayne Norris replied, September 19, 2021 at 8:09 p.m.

    Bob, "gross vs NET" ..... you get my point and frankly athletes are tied to Gross..... We are not dealing with $15 hr Target employees here or even $200k engineers.

    Brings in "X" revenue and receive "Y" %. Same exact deal for women and men.

    The FIFA bonus falls under "X"......

    This is not a man / woman issue this is a revenue / compensation issue. 


    So simple....


     




  8. Bob Ashpole replied, September 20, 2021 at 3:11 a.m.

    The CBA's did not pay commissions. So your "simple" solution is fantasy. Lawsuits deal with facts.

  9. Wayne Norris replied, September 20, 2021 at 3:58 p.m.

    Semantics...

    How about I replace "commissions" with "revenue based" compensation. 


  10. Peter Bechtold, September 16, 2021 at 2:04 p.m.

    Waaayyy back, as in !991 and 1995 there was no bigger fan of the USWNT than I.I never missed watching their matches.
    Beginning with 1999 I noticed some "dirty tricks" by certain team members and this has continued on and off the field. Seeing these endless arguments has really soured me on this team.
    Don't get me wrong: I enjoy watching womens soccer,e.g. Arsenal vs.Chelsea, Man.City vs. Brighton, etc.,also UEFA matches Wolfsburg vs. Lyon and so on, but I will no longer watch "She believes" or "Victory Tours" played against minnows. I wonder how many feel like me ?

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, September 16, 2021 at 2:54 p.m.

    Peter, the "She Believes" competition doesn't include "minnows". It was started to compensate for the lack of tough competition in CONCACAF.

  12. humble 1, September 16, 2021 at 2:20 p.m.

    Since both sides are using the media, we can safely assume, neither are bargaining in good faith, b.c. otherwise it should be silent and the player should be fielding questions about the game ahead, not negotiation matters.  Sheesh, what a sh*t show. 

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, September 16, 2021 at 2:57 p.m.

    I would hardly call Morgan answering a reporter's question at a pre-game press conference waging a media campaign.

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