U.S. Soccer Federation announces agreement to pay men and women equally

USA Women's National Soccer Team
(Image credit: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

The United States Soccer Federation has unveiled a landmark equal pay agreement.

The organization said Wednesday it has agreed to terms on bargaining agreements with the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association to pay men and women players equally.

"This is a truly historic moment," Cindy Parlow Cone, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, said. "These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world."

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The agreements extend through 2028 and "include identical compensation for all competitions," including the World Cup, where prize money will be equalized. For other competitions, the announcement said, the men's and women's national teams "will earn identical game bonuses," and they'll receive equal appearance fees and performance payments.

The news comes after years of the U.S. women's national soccer team fighting for equal pay, including by bringing a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. "There's no reason why we're underpaid for the exception of gender," national team player Megan Rapinoe testified in 2021. In February, the U.S. Soccer Federation settled the case for $24 million, which Rapinoe hailed as a "huge win."

Becky Sauerbrunn, president of the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association, celebrated Wednesday's agreement and "its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for National Team players."

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