Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Calls on U.S. Soccer Federation to Remedy Pay Inequity and Treatment Experienced by Women's Team

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Washington, July 3, 2019 | comments
As the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team continues to score big on the global stage in the Women’s World Cup, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) once again urged the U.S. Soccer Federation to remedy the pay inequity and treatment experienced by the women’s team. Despite continuing to break attendance and viewership records, and many times generating more revenue than the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has faced an outsized wage gap compared to their male counterparts. U.S. Rep. Castor’s letter to Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Soccer Federation president, includes the numbers backing these unprecedented revenue and viewership records.
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As the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team continues to score big on the global stage in the Women’s World Cup, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) once again urged the U.S. Soccer Federation to remedy the pay inequity and treatment experienced by the women’s team.  Despite continuing to break attendance and viewership records, and many times generating more revenue than the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has faced an outsized wage gap compared to their male counterparts.  U.S. Rep. Castor’s letter to Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Soccer Federation president, includes the numbers backing these unprecedented revenue and viewership records.

U.S. Rep. Castor serves as a co-chair of the Congressional Soccer Caucus and has been a longtime proponent of equal rights for the nation’s female athletes, including filing a resolution in 2015 expressing that female athletes should be paid the same as their male counterparts, advocating for equity at U.S. Soccer and urging organizers of world class competitions to actively combat the wage gap.  She has also highlighted a need for better female representation within FIFA and she recently helped lead her colleagues in a letter expressing their disapproval of the inequalities that the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team continues to endure.

Read her letter below:

Mr. Carlos Cordeiro
U.S. Soccer President
1801 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

RE: Pay Equity for USWNT

Dear Mr. Cordeiro:

I urge you to take the opportunity surrounding the unparalleled success of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and remedy the inequities in their compensation and treatment. Doing so would rectify the long-standing unfairness that the USWNT has continued to endure. I have been pressing this issue for years, urged your predecessor to act, and now look to you to take action.

Just this year, the team has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF).  On International Women’s Day, I filed a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for pay equity.  You have received a letter from me and several of my colleagues today demanding answers about gender discrimination and unequal pay for the USWNT.   What more will it take for our players to receive the recognition and compensation they deserve?

As the players stated in their lawsuit: “The pay for advancement through the rounds of the World Cup was so skewed that, in 2014, the USSF provided the MNT with performance bonuses totaling $5,375,000 for losing in the Round of 16, while, in 2015, the USSF provided the WNT with only $1,725,000 for winning the entire tournament. The WNT earned more than three times less than the MNT while performing demonstrably better.”

The facts are overwhelmingly clear and financial reports show that the women’s team has generated more revenue for U.S. Soccer than the men over the last three years.   The U.S. 2-1 victory over France on June 28 set a record for the most-watched Women's World Cup quarterfinal match on U.S. English-language television. FOX drew 6.12 million viewers for Friday's match, and peaked at 8.24 million.  FIFA expects the competition to reach a total of 1 billion viewers across all platforms worldwide.  And Nike has stated that the USWNT soccer jersey is the best-selling soccer top ever sold on its website.  It is clear that it is long past time that our women start earning equal pay as their counterparts.

I urge you and U.S. Soccer to not only act to rectify the pay inequity for the USWNT, but to urge FIFA to do more to raise the status of women in international soccer.  It is reported that FIFA’s cash reserves have soared to a record $2.74 billion. That’s more than enough to take meaningful action to invest in women’s competition and boost pay equity for female players.

The eyes of the world are focused on the skill and determination of the USWNT and we are anxiously awaiting the outcome on Sunday.  But we can no longer wait for U.S. Soccer to take action to treat the USWNT fairly.

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