For a long time, the United States Women’s National Team has sought equal pay to their male counterparts. That included the decision to bring a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer over gender-based discrimination back in 2019. However, a judge rejected the most prominent issues in the suit, even while leaving the door cracked open for future discussion.
To that end, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro introduced a new bill in Congress, titled the “Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act,” aiming to ensure that the USWNT earn “fair and equitable wages compared to the U.S. Men’s Team.”
“In times both good and bad, sports connect us to one another and to our nation through our common bond to our beloved teams. The collective spirit and support for the U.S. Women’s National Team lifts our entire nation up and inspires young women from coast-to-coast to pursue their passions and become the next generation of leaders,” Congresswoman Matsui said. “Stars such as Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd are household names, yet their hard work – which has brought our nation various World Cups including the most recent tournament – is grossly undervalued. From factory floors to the boardroom, to the soccer pitch of the world’s biggest stage, women everywhere perform the same job and do not get what they deserve – equal pay for equal work. The GOALS Act provides a clear message to the U.S. Soccer Federation – make real reforms to provide equal wages to their female athletes or sacrifice vital funds for the 2026 World Cup. I stand with our USWNT as we renew our commitment to end pay discrimination, close the wage gap and ensure women of all backgrounds have equity in the workplace.”
Within the announcement of the act, the Congresswomen state plainly that USWNT players “earn significantly less” compared to the Men’s National Team, even while “performing the same job” and “producing equal or more revenue.” On top of that, it is indisputable the USWNT is the more successful entity in terms of wins and championship-level performance.
“The concept is simple: women deserve equal pay for equal work,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “The U.S. Women’s National Team, women who have captivated the global soccer community, deserve the same compensation as their male counterparts. The U.S. Soccer Federation must be held accountable and end its discriminatory practices. The GOALS Act will bring our nation a step closer to equal pay for all professional athletes.”
There is great synergy in the announcement of the bill being introduced coming on Mar. 8, International Women’ Day, and also on the two-year anniversary of the initial lawsuit. It remains to be seen as to how this bill will proceed, but it is hopefully a helpful step in this push for equal pay.