Five stars with the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of wage discrimination.
Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn allege that they are paid far less than their counterparts on the less-successful U.S. men’s team.
The team saw a surge in popularity following last year’s 5-2 World Cup victory over Japan, and the group generated more revenue than the men’s team. The U.S. women have won three total World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, while the men have not won either event.
But the issue over equitable pay is more complicated than it appears.
The players and their union are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with U.S. Soccer over the status of their collective bargaining agreement. The federation filed a lawsuit earlier this year seeking to clarify that its contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association runs through the Rio Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding from March 2013 can be terminated at any time. That case is pending.
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