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U.S. Women’s Soccer Players Refused The Same Pay Structure As Men. Now They’re Claiming ‘Sexism’ Led To Difference.
Megan Rapinoe #15 of USA shoots a penalty and scores during the International women friendly match between France and United States on April 13, 2021 in Le Havre, France.
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

The U.S. Women’s Soccer team is appealing a court decision to throw out their pay discrimination claim, arguing that a “pervasive atmosphere of sexism” was the reason the women’s team is paid less than the men’s team.

In reality, as The Daily Wire previously reported, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the women’s pay discrimination claim because they had rejected to be paid using the same structure as the men’s team.

“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”

At the same time Klausner rejected the pay discrimination claim, he allowed the women’s team’s claims about discriminatory work conditions to continue. At the time the ruling was handed down, the women’s soccer team vowed to appeal.

“Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid. The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay,” USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement at the time.

KGW8 reported last week that the players have appealed Klausner’s decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“For each win, loss and tie that women players secure, they are paid less than men who play the same sport and who do the same work; that is gender discrimination,” Levinson said in a statement last week. “A pervasive atmosphere of sexism drove this pay discrimination.”

The women sued the U.S. Soccer Federation, which doesn’t control every game. The USSF said that for the matches it does control, it pays the men’s and women’s teams equally, but tournaments are organized by FIFA, which pays according to the money the teams bring in.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, the women’s soccer team brings in less money because it has fewer viewers than men’s soccer. The only time this changes is when the women’s team makes it to the World Cup, something the U.S. Men’s team hasn’t done.

The women’s team also receives a higher percentage of revenue than the men’s team, though the revenue is lower. CBS reported four years ago that the men’s team received 9% of the revenue generated by the 2010 World Cup — which amounted to $348 million. The women’s team received 13% of the 2015 World Cup revenue, but because the women’s team brought in less revenue, they only received $10 million.

The women’s team also receives a base salary and benefits, which the men’s team does not.

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