USWNT invited to bipartisan meeting with female U.S. senators

By Gabrielle McMillen 11 July 2019 579
USWNT invited to bipartisan meeting with female U.S. senators

The demands by the United States women's soccer team seem to have been heard.

All 25 female U.S. senators, Republicans and Democrats, have asked the team to meet them in Washington to discuss the “challenges women face on and off the field,” which likely includes the issue of equal pay, the Huffington Post reported.

In a letter addressed to coach Jill Ellis and captains Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on Thursday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) offered congratulations to the team for winning its fourth World Cup and said the celebrations would coincide with discussing important issues for women.

The letter comes as the women on the team are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation over huge pay discrepancies between the men and women's teams. 

Female soccer players are paid an average of $30,000 less a year in base salary than the men, despite the fact that they have won back-to-back World Cups and the men didn't even qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Another discrepancy involves bonuses. The U.S. men were given a $5.4 million bonus pool for making it to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup, but the women were awarded just $1.7 million for winning the tournament in 2015.

The women's national team has been vocal about equal pay, and chants by fans about equal pay broke out throughout the 2019 World Cup, during the celebration following the final and at the championship parade Wednesday in New York. 

Many also are calling for the women to be paid, especially since the team has driven TV viewership of soccer and jersey sales, surpassing the sales of men's jerseys. 

A reported 50 members of Congress have written U.S. Soccer asking why the women haven't been paid properly.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) this week took things a step further to get U.S. Soccer to pay women. He proposed a bill in which all federal funding for the 2026 World Cup would be be cut off until the women's pay is equal to the men's.

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Gabrielle McMillen

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