U.S. women's soccer players celebrate $24 million equal pay settlement: 'A monumental step forward'

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan
(Image credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Members of the U.S. women's national soccer team are celebrating a major settlement in their equal pay case.

The U.S. Soccer Federation on Tuesday announced a $24 million settlement with members of the team three years after they filed a lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination, The Washington Post reports. Under the settlement, the 28 players who brought the lawsuit will receive $22 million, and the other $2 million will be put toward establishing a "charitable fund for women's and girls' soccer," the Post writes. U.S. Soccer also pledged to "equalize pay between the men's and women's national teams in all competitions," The New York Times reports.

Members of the team brought their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March 2019, alleging female players are paid less than men despite performing the same responsibilities. National team player Megan Rapinoe told Congress in 2021 that "it's just unacceptable that we're still fighting for equal pay," and "there's no reason why we're underpaid for the exception of gender."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

On Tuesday, Rapinoe celebrated the settlement, telling The Washington Post, "This is going to be one of those incredible moments that we look back on and say the game changed forever, U.S. Soccer changed forever, and the landscape of soccer in this country and in the world changed forever because of this."

On Tuesday's Good Morning America, Rapinoe also called this a "huge win for all women," as the equal pay battle was something that "went far beyond the team." Her teammate Alex Morgan, meanwhile, called it a "monumental step forward in feeling valued, feeling respected."

Cindy Parlow Cone, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, on GMA also acknowledged that "we still have a lot of work to do with repairing the relationship with our players," but she added, "We're on the road to that."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.