Sens. Murray, Feinstein Continue Efforts to Address Gender Pay Inequality in U.S. Soccer

Sens. Murray, Feinstein Continue Efforts to Address Gender Pay Inequality in U.S. Soccer

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Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports
Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is ranked first in the world, has won three FIFA Women’s World Cups and four Olympic Gold Medals, but its members are paid significantly less than their male counterparts

Wednesday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to the General Counsel of the U.S. Soccer Federation requesting information on pay disparities between the men’s and women’s U.S. National Soccer Teams.

“We believe strongly that the gender pay gap is both unacceptable and harmful to women, families, and our economy,” wrote the Senators. “We remain focused on the pressing issue of pay equity for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team…apparent pay disparities such as those between the men’s and women’s soccer teams send the wrong message to young women – and men – and have no place in the 21st century economy.”

In the letter, the Senators sought clarification from U.S. Soccer about the differences in revenue generated by and for the men’s and women’s U.S. National Soccer Teams, plans to better highlight the women’s team, and requested additional information, including:

  • How U.S. Soccer has worked with international networks to promote women’s soccer and the Women’s Team.
  • The revenue U.S. Soccer has generated from its contracts with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) as well as other broadcast contracts over the past eight years.
  • A breakout of the individual revenue streams within SUM over the past 8 years.
  • The value of each marketing contract (not including the broadcast rights) for the Women’s Team and Men’s Team over the past eight years.
  • U.S. Soccer’s future plans to improve the exposure of the Women’s Team both domestically and abroad.

These requests follow the passage of a Senate resolution in May, authored by Senators Murray, Feinstein, and others urging U.S. Soccer to ensure the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is fairly compensated. Senators Murray and Feinstein have consistently fought for equal pay in the workplace and on the field, in particular through the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide women with additional tools to identify and fight back against pay discrimination.

Full text of the letter is available here.

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