USWNT re-ups fight for equal pay with public displays

The Equalizer Staff July 7, 2016 181

The United States women’s national team, having recently been told that the no-strike clause in its collective bargaining agreement is binding, is turning to the court of public opinion — again.

U.S. women’s players took to social media on Thursday with the hashtag, #EqualPlayEqualPay, to further display their desire for better compensation from U.S. Soccer.

Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn — the five players representing the U.S. women’s team in a wage discrimination claim against U.S. Soccer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — are pictured in the social media posts wearing shirts with the #EqualPlayEqualPay statement on them. Players will wear the shirts at upcoming media events, according to the New York Times. They may also wear temporary tatoos with the slogan during Saturday’s match against South Africa.

Rapinoe told the Times on Thursday that the move comes out of frustration with the lack of progress being made regarding a new CBA. Rapinoe, who just returned to full training in her race to get fit in time to make the 18-player Olympic roster, has been involved in negotiations even during her rehab from a torn ACL suffered in December. She says that U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati has not personally attended a negotiation yet.

“It’s quite frustrating to know that he’s making comments that he wants to get a deal done, but he hasn’t come to one meeting,” Rapinoe told the Times. “I’ve been to three meetings, flown six hours across the country and interrupted my rehab to come to New York, where he lives. And he can’t come to one meeting.”

Gulati confirmed to the Times that he had not directly taken part in the talks, but that U.S. Soccer is focused on reaching a new CBA.

Last month, in a ruling independent of the EEOC claim, an Illinois judge ruled that the U.S. women’s national team is bound to the terms of its previous CBA, which expired at the end of 2012, and includes a no-strike clause. Those terms, upheld by a memorandum of understanding, expire at the end of this year.

  • Cc W

    I appreciate and support the USWNT in their wage complaint, but I believe they fear they are losing leverage and are trying to keep this active. US Soccer is doing what anyone who holds the power does – drag this out. Now if/when they win the gold will that put more pressure on Sunil?

    • Steglitz49

      It would be interesting to learn what the viewing figures in the US has been for Euro-16, not least the high-profile matches of the knock-out stages. This might focus the minds.

      The USMNT may not have been anywhere near as good as the USWNT but the men can only get better while the ladies can stumble again.

      • guest

        interesting point. Do you think Swedish F.A. can do a better job than USSF in terms of reducing income gap?

        • Steglitz49

          It depends on how you define the income gap. It is huge between Zlatan and any other player. Lotta is probably still the best female Swedish player but she earns a fraction of what many 3rd rate male players do. But that is beyond the SFF to correct.

      • CED

        Euro 16 is irrelevant to this topic.

        • Steglitz49

          Not really but think about it.

          • CED

            Irrelevant!

          • Steglitz49

            Excuse I, possum! ESPN’s coverage of Euro 2016 is averaging 815,705 viewers for all games across ESPN and ESPN2 through the end of the Round of 16 stage of the tournament.

            In comparison, FOX Sports’ coverage of Copa America averaged 787,522 viewers per game for the entire tournament not including the matches involving the US Men’s National Team.

            I am looking for the Euro-16 QF and SF figures but can’t find them. Can you help me? please?

          • MrTemecula

            Try this link.

            http://sportstvratings.com/portugal-wales-euro-wimbledon-sportscenter-lead-cable-sports-tv-ratings-for-wednesday-july-6-2016/5415/

            Advertisers only look at 18-49 age numbers and the Portugal-Wales match was watched by 667,000 viewers. Not bad for a match in the middle of the workday.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            With Ramsey Wales would have won. As it was, the dragon was a bit declawed and short of puff.

            667.000 — how does that compare to some USWNT events?

            Wonder what Fra-Ger pulled?

          • rkmid71

            Gulati has stated (and provided the stats) that an average rating for a men’s game is a multiple of the equivalent women’s game — “not 10 or 20 or 30 or 50 percent higher” but multiples higher. Comparing USWNT to USMNT for similar events, friendlies, etc. — the ratings are roughly double or more.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is double to whom? I don’t follow you.

            When you include all the sources of viewing, the estimates for viewing in the US of the men’s WC-14 final and the ladies WC-15 final were almost the same, given that the figures are estimates. The differences were trivial, about 1-2%. What that says about the USMNT is another question.

          • rkmid71

            I was comparing USWNT group games for 2015 WWC versus USMNT group games for 2014 WC. That 4.3 million average for WNT and 13.4 million for men. For all the WC games , the women averaged 8.2 million versus the men 14.2 million. The women’s average was skewed a bit by the 25.4 million that watchted the US Japan final.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. That make sense.

            As I typed, when you take all sources of viewing into account the viewing of the two finals are close — and the men’s were between Arg and Ger.

          • CED

            Wcup ratings are not how USSF makes money on tv. USSF does not own rights to these events. That’s why it’s foolish for people to always tout the WNT Wcup ratings or OG. USSF makes many on the rights they own. The rights that USSF owns and thus sells MNT dwarfs WNT by multiples. For FIFA owned events or CONCACAF events USSF makes money on payouts, which also dwarf the WNT b/c the world wide or regional viewer numbers when run by CONCACAF or in Copa America combined with CONMEBOL are astronomically larger overall than WoSO events.

          • MrTemecula

            Ramsey, nah. Ronaldo is a player on a mission. That header was amazing. But, I think the French are going to win. The French finally got pass the Germans so to lose to the Portuguese in the Final would be unthinkable.

          • mockmook

            I can believe six “unthinkable” things before breakfast…

          • MrTemecula

            That is an awful way to start a day.

          • mockmook

            Oh no, I always end the day with breakfast and start a day with lunch.

          • I’m not even sure if they air the Women’s Euro in the U.S. During the last one I was traveling in Budapest and the Women’s Euro was on every TV screen in every bar. And that’s in a country that has no vested interest in it since Hungary doesn’t have a decent women’s team. It would be nice if ANY non-U.S. WoSo was available to watch in the U.S., yet it’s still hard enough for us to get the USWNT games on a regular basis and not just every 4 years.

      • Lorehead

        Did you mean the Copa America, where the USMNT came in fourth?

        • Steglitz49

          You tell me.

          • Lorehead

            Probably not, but that would have made more sense.

          • Steglitz49

            The Copa-cabana?

    • Frode

      Precisely. Now that the existing CBA has been deemed valid, and a strike would be in breach of that CBA, it is in the USSF’s financial interest to delay renegotiation until after the Olympics and any Victory Tour. The USWNT hoped to renegotiate before the Olympics in an attempt to reap the financial rewards. Now that those hopes are quashed, they are ramping up the social justice aspect of their complaint in an apparent attempt to build public sympathy. Whether this will strengthen the USWNT’s leverage come December (when the CBA is likely to be renegotiated) remains to be seen. We will get a clearer picture of the motives and resolve of senior USWNT representatives at that time, when the financial rewards are less (or at least remote), but the social justice issue remains.

      • Lisa Beason

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    • Frode

      Another important variable in upcoming CBA negotiations is the EEOC. If they offer an opinion on the USWNT’s complaint before the negotiations, it will be a huge factor. Ironically, the very CBA the USWNT negotiated and is now complaining about may reduce their chances of a friendly EEOC ruling, because it establishes a substantially different pay structure for the USWNT vs. the USMNT, in effect making the female players salaried employees of the USSF compared to the men, who are contract employees. This may be a factor in deciding whether or not the USWNT is engaged in “substantially equal” work compared to the USMNT.

      • Cc W

        I agree on the EEOC matter – while I’m not sure they will get everything they want out of it, certainly the per diems are unfair and will likely go in their favor. I would expect the game pay for wins and losses might be something they might prevail on as well, but like you said the contracts between the men and women’s teams are different.

        • Frode

          Does anyone know whether EEOC opinions tend to be all-or-nothing or whether they can deem select aspects of a complaint subject to the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963? It may be that some aspects of the complaint, i.e., per diems and work conditions (field, hotel) are deemed “substantially equal work” factors and subject to EPA, while others, i.e., pay structure, are not.

          • Steglitz49

            No.

          • Guest

            Stunning insight.

          • Steglitz49

            Honesty is the best policy.

          • rkmid71

            I believe the only reason the per diems are different is because of the difference in timing or date of the CBAs. I think at one point (before the latest MNT CBA), they were the same.That wouldn’t be a meaningful concession as they would have done that regardless. I’m sure Rapinoe is hypersensitive about the fields — though she got injured on a grass practice field if I recall. Has the WNT said whether they would consider the same pay structure as the men (i.e. contract employees)?

          • Steglitz49

            During WC-15 there were no injuries that could be blamed on the artificial surfaces. None.

          • Frode

            I haven’t read any details about the WNT’s specific goals. It’s all been rather vague. But I would have to think they would like to retain a degree of guaranteed salary, especially going into the 2-year “inter-cycle” period where they don’t generate as much revenue for USSF. My personal opinion is that if USSF and WNT (and MNT) truly believed in gender equality at the professional and youth levels (soccer), they would work towards making the pay structure of WNT closer to that currently used by MNT but with some guaranteed salary for WNT player (to compensate for lack of club salary); players would still have vested (%) interest in ticket sales, TV revenue, but FIFA revenue would be pooled and distributed to maintain equity, and to fund female youth development (DA, coach training, etc.). This would, of course, require a financial sacrifice from current WNT players and future MNT players.

          • Steglitz49

            “Lack of club salary”? The USWNT players who are allocated earn a queen’s ransom.

          • rkmid71

            Roughly 4x non-USWNT players. But I think they’re saying a lot less than what the USMNT players earn playing club.

          • Steglitz49

            That is for them to argue with their clubs. The USSF can’t help that. Zlatan earns about 60x what Lotta Schelin does as for women players in Portugal and CR7, the mind boggles.

          • Frode

            Implicit in my proposed arrangement is that WNT players would receive lower overall salary (WNT + any club allocation revenue) and more bonuses (like the men). One could argue for eliminating the club allocation altogether. However, retaining a modest WNT salary structure would allow for a larger pool of players to call upon. If/when NWSL salaries rise, then WNT salary/allocation system could be scrapped.

          • Steglitz49

            In Europe WoSo is becoming skewed by the wealthy men’s clubs upping the ante. How voluntarily that is, is a good question but it is happening.

          • Just like USSF paid the MNT a salary prior to MLS gaining ground, so too should they provide the WNT salary + benefits until NWSL is financially stable enough to pay them a salary that could compete with any other women’s league.

          • rkmid71

            Compete with any other women’s league? Isn’t the NWSL the top league? And if the players decide they can go to France, Germany, England, Sweden and earn a little more they are free to go. Many have done that. Most have decided to come back.

          • guest

            the uswnt gang of five have been asked mutiple times on tv by a reporter and on the internet, and they refuse to answer the question directly. nor have they volunteered to change their pay structure. it is pretty apparent that the gang of five want to keep their salary and benefits and also get the same bonus structure as the usmnt. not exactly equality. just self-interest.

          • Cc W

            Haven’t dealt with it on the federal level, but at a state level they can make findings – a finding that the per diems are not equal or discriminatory is possible, but again it will depend on the facts as presented.

  • newsouth

    how about if USSoccer started cycling the squad every for years, which is their right because this is a national squad, not a pro team like some of the players treat it.

    • guest

      yes. the ussf need’s to start demanding equal opportunity on the uswnt. no more rampones hoarding roster spots even though they haven’t played in like two years, to just milk the ussf for all that they can. let some other deserving women a chance to realize their uswnt dreams.

      • Movement

        True. Although Rampone should be earning a pension right about now from US Soccer (literally).

  • HOFCToDi

    youtube.com/watch?v=yy0q2lAggHI

    No taxation without representation!

    Down the British!

  • HOFCToDi

    youtube.com/watch?v=zIV4poUZAQo
    We are the soccer federation that says “Ni”!

  • guest

    Why do the USWNT team members get a higher league play salary than the other NWSL players on their team? They do equal work so they should get equal pay right?

    Why does Lebron get paid more than his other teammates? I mean, equal pay for equal work right?

    Why do the USWNT members get a yearly salary when the MNT do not?

    • guest

      it is now apparent the uswnt gang of five are only interested in equality when it is in their self-interest. don’t see the uswnt volunteering to cut their own pay. nwsl be damned.

    • Lorehead

      Because they generate more revenue. This is an argument for giving the women a raise, not against, because they also generate more revenue.

      • CED

        Jesus christ you fangirls will not give up on this BS.. MNT crushes WNT on revenue per cycle, Wcup vs Wcup year, etc….Only those praying on the ignorant and trying to intentionally distort hold on to the anomalous year as proof of anything. Btw, MNT still crushed them in 2015 attendance per game. Crushed them in revenue per game. 2016 attendance is more than 10K less/game than the anomaly year the WNT is foolishly touting.

    • Frode

      These are good questions (despite the facetious tone). Here is what the Equal Pay Act of 1963 says:
      _
      “(1) No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex: Provided, That an employer who is paying a wage rate differential in violation of this subsection shall not, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection, reduce the wage rate of any employee.”
      _
      Is the minimum skill required to make the USWNT equal to the minimum skill required to make the USMNT? Is this absolute skill, or relative skill? The EPA does not say.
      _
      Do USWNT players generate the same “quantity or quality of production” than the USMNT players?
      _
      These might be questions the EEOC is trying to answer right now.

      • Lorehead

        Some people in this conversation really would argue that women are innately inferior at soccer, and therefore would deserve to be paid less even if 90% of USSF’s revenue came from the USWNT. I don’t think the argument that women can never deserve equal treatment no matter what they do because they are innately inferior is going to fly in the twenty-first century.

        Personally, I think the better criterion to use is “quantity or quality of production,” meaning things like ticket sales and victories in tournaments. That would mean a new women’s team can pay their athletes at a sustainable rate, proportionate to revenue. I don’t know how the EEOC will rule.

        • Frode

          The WNT has a case when it comes to “quality of production” in terms of performance in major tournaments. No one can reasonably argue that fact. However, in terms of “quantity of production” ($), the case for equality breaks down. It is my understanding that over the 4-year cycle, the MNT consistently generates (far) more revenue for USSF than does the WNT, largely due to disparity in FIFA payouts — and this pattern is predicted to continue despite recent WNT success. What it boils down to is this: If the WNT players want to be paid the same absolute amount by USSF as the MNT players, then USSF on balance need to take revenue generated by the MNT and redistribute to the WNT; if on the other hand, the WNT players want an equal proportion of the money they generate, then they’ll have to give up some or all of their guaranteed salary and benefits.

          • Lorehead

            On the other hand, USSF is a non-profit whose charitable goals ostensibly include promoting equality, and claims that it only pays the women 2% less as-is.

          • rkmid71

            USSF’s stated mission is “to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels”. Do we really know what their other charitable goals are?

          • Lorehead

            That’s from its About webpage. I was referring to section 102 of its bylaws.

        • Steglitz49

          “ticket sales” or “revenue”? The more expensive the tickets the more revenue except that more expensive tickets are harder to sell.

          The USWNT tickets are quite expensive so the chances are that revenue might be a better measure to make the point for the USWNT.

      • rkmid71

        Thanks for this. I think clause (i) is clear. A USWNT player is not doing the same job. Otherwise they would be playing on the USMNT, for a men’s club team where they could make a lot more money, etc. It’s a huge stretch to interpret this to mean that since both are representing the USA, they are doing the same job requiring the same skill, under similar working conditions, etc. It has to be absolute skill, otherwise you are not doing the same job. It’s self evident and shouldn’t have to be stated. If 90% of USSF’s revenue came from the USWNT (essentially would mean that fans and the world care mostly about WoSo, not BroSo), then the tables would be turned. It’s not about who someone thinks is innately inferior or superior. I remember Nancy Lieberman and some other women Bball players trying to playing NBA — I have a lot of respect for them for trying.

        • Frode

          It is possible that the EEOC will come to this conclusion, deeming the USWNT’s complaint invalid, i.e., not subject to EPA protections. In my mind, the fairest approach would be a new CBA that provided more profit sharing and less guaranteed salary. Independently, the USSF could allocate more funds to developing female youth soccer.

          • rkmid71

            Your ideas sound very sensible and a compromise on both fronts. And I think also accomplish an objective to create more competition and opportunity for new up and coming players to compete for spots on the team or perhaps increase the size of the NT pool. USSF already seems to be allocating more funds to developing female soccer with the new girls DA and more in the future as the girls DA expands and started a new U18, U19 YNTs, etc.

          • mockmook

            I wonder if the DA’s are expected to make a “profit”.

          • rkmid71

            I doubt it. And it’s an impossible question unless you’re a DA club administrator! I started to think about it and gave up. Each DA club will have 3 teams with roughly 20 players each. I think the 60 players will have to pay something, though USSF might pay for some through scholarship. But from DA club perspective. they will have incremental revenue depending on fees paid by the players or scholarship funding. How many new coaches will they need to hire, field costs? Any club with spare capacity might be able to “profit” but I think the goal is to keep costs down for the players. And I think the plan is to minimize travel costs or those would be paid by the club. ECNL families pay roughly $2,500 per year, excluding all the travel costs — at that rate, incremental revenue would equate to $150,000 per year for 60 kids. But they might think of it as a loss leader to bring in more kids to their other paying programs.

          • Frode

            The DA could help. I’d like to see more USSF “A” or “B” licensed coaches in female youth soccer (club, high school). I believe this is what Iceland has done across the board.

  • guest

    then the corollary is also true. #unequalplayunequalpay.

    • guest

      don’t think the men’s national teams gift major tournament roster spots to an injured player that hasn’t played in a competitive game in nine months.

  • guest

    why should the ussf be in a hurry right now? the cba is valid until the end of the year. if the gang of five’s convictions are that strong about the issue then they should boycott the rio olympics regardless. unless of course self-interest was their only concern all along.

    • Movement

      Not sure we’ve seen enough indicators that they are actually going to Girlcott the Olympics. Unless the team has kept that so close to their chest and have not told a single soul, and somehow plan to drop that HAMMER at the last second (which is a possibility). Girlcotting the Olympics may do more harm than good though. It may end up losing them some leverage instead of gaining them leverage (and it would certainly cost them some endorsement money in the long-term as well, for the players that do receive endorsement money). They only get 2 big tournaments every 4 years to prove themselves and to captivate a nation. They really won’t get a chance to get that opportunity again until 2019.

      It is US Soccer that needs to act …………

      The United States Women’s National team has already done their part.
      They have proven their worth, and have a compelling argument. Not giving them fair pay is like restricting your daughter from getting the same youth/club soccer opportunity as your son in a metaphoric realm, but at the adult level. It becomes painful and it certainly becomes unfair.

      US Soccer are the “parents” over the US Men’s team and the US Women’s team. They “Love” their sons more than they love their daughters historically and currently (and they are certainly still sending that message for the future as well). They favor their sons more than they favor their daughters. And in their “will”, they plan to give more to their sons than to their daughters. So far, it’s the way they roll. They have their priorities backwards wrong however. This country has been great historically because we have been the innovators in this world at becoming the first in many walks of life to allow equal opportunity for a variety of people in many different fields, in the workplace, etc (gender, race, and so on). US Soccer could do something extraordinary here, but instead they would rather endorse corrupt behavior from FIFA if it came down to it, than to change the world for fairness for all genders and youth for the sport of soccer in America and the world. They keep chasing after this false World Cup trophy for the US men, which just isn’t going to happen after they continue to get castrated by the world’s elite teams, but here we are again where the women are about to win a world trophy again, the 8th time in 13 major tournaments. And their stock symbol on the stock market per se’ is trending up at a much higher % recently than the US men, in terms of % increase of attendance, profit margins, etc. Ever their star players are more recognized than their male counterparts (Clint Dempsey isn’t even as famous historically as Jack Dempsey). The women’s team and their players are the hot commodity. But they have breasts. And FIFA and the rest of the football world look down on that. And US Soccer is “owned” by them and bow down to them instead of choosing to conduct their own “proactive” revolution on what is right, just like our founding fathers did to kick-start this great nation we live in today. US Soccer is not our founding fathers though (as they are “favoring fathers”). Let’s not confuse ourselves here and fall off the lawn chair laughing. They aren’t that revolutionary, and they aren’t that innovative.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mk9gDJGDvY

      • Pretty sure the team contractually can’t boycott the Olympics. Plus, they need to win it to make their money for the year.

      • CED

        “They have proven their worth, and have a compelling argument. Not
        giving them fair pay is like restricting your daughter from getting the
        same youth/club soccer opportunity as your son in a metaphoric realm,
        but at the adult level. It becomes painful and it certainly becomes
        unfair.’

        They don’t have a compelling argument if you use your actual brain. it’s why they have resorted to the nonsense thy have with the MOU case which they lost. They then went to hail mary part 2 with the EEOC case which will be also be dismissed. They only have a nonsensical emotional argument based on lack of facts that leads to the kind of silly emotional response you made.

        • Lorehead

          You’re still nuts.

          • CED

            Facts ar nuts to fangirls like you. WNT have been destroyed by facts..how they lost MOU case and will ose the EEOC case. You can keep keep fangirling, ignoring facts and you will be crying and bitching again, just like after the MOU case.

          • Lorehead

            Since I predicted they’d lose on the issue of the no-strike clause, your ignorant, sexist rant is a good example of how you’re nuts.

          • CED

            LOL…Do you really want me to embarrass you as usual and find your comments on the MOU case. You are the biggest fangirl on hear and ignore any and all facts by necessity.

          • Lorehead

            You’re delusional.

          • CED

            You’re as usual a liar. You were arguing they had a case despite the facts. In fact the number of people who aid it was nonsense were could be counted easily. They were lead be me and you were part of the fangirl brigade that was on the other side and wrong. The people like me that actually read every filing, the CBA, etc without emotion based logic, knew it was BS from the start.

          • Lorehead

            Since he said he was going to “find your comments on the MOU case,” and then of course he didn’t, this is what he’s never gotten over.

          • CED

            LOL…Nothing to get over. The WNT has been shown to be foolish in the MOu case. They have depended on the ignorance of people like you who are guided by emotion and ignore facts b/c no facts are on the WNT side. The WNT have been shown to have spouted outright lies and blatant intentional distortions. Embarrassing you as the ignorant fangirl that you are never gets old. Maybe you will get over being embarrassed time and time again once you get out of your mom’s basement and wipe the cheetos dust off your fingers.

          • Lorehead

            Of course, I predicted that the USWNT would probably lose on the issue of the no-strike clause, but the USSF would lose even worse in the court of public opinion.

          • CED

            USSF lost nothing. Public Opinion support based on WNT lies and distortions is irrelevant to USSF. The WNT had a BS case from the start so they resorted to lies. WNT have lost and will on the EEOC. How’s that public opinion working for you fangirls? Not all! USSF cares not and are not swayed by this. USSF has proven going back to 2000 they will not be strong armed, which was all the WNT were banking on as they foolishly filed the MOU case and the equally nonsensical EEOC case. EEOC case was filed b/c Kessler got eviscerated on MOU case in discovery. He always knew it was a loser but thought some silly judge might let it go to trial but, one they would lose.

    • MrTemecula

      The EEOC decision comes out in September so it would behoove USSF to wrap up the CBA negotiations before a negative decision. Maybe the USSF thinks it will go against the players. I doubt it, though, and it would put USSF in a horrible position.

      • Steglitz49

        What does equal pay for equal play mean in American English?

        • Frode

          Don’t ask what it means, just get angry. (That’s what it’s designed to do.) But if you start picking it apart, it poses more questions than it answers. What does equal pay really mean? The same amount of dollars? Equal opportunity for financial gain? A fair share of the pot? Which pot? And what is equal play? The same sport? The same venue? The same skill level?
          Read the wording of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and ask yourself whether or not the USWNT and USMNT do “substantially equal” work for USSF.

          • Steglitz49

            The same share of the gate? The same share of the gate and sales from the food court? The same share of the gate, all concessions and sponsorship money?

            What do the guys get for every nude photo series? The same as the ladies?

          • Guest

            “What do the guys get for every nude photo series? The same as the ladies?”
            A legitimate question.

          • Steglitz49

            When for the age group 18-49 age the Portugal-Wales match was allegedly watched by 667,000 viewers in the US in the middle of a midweek workday, WoSo may need to reconsider its tactics and strategies.

          • guest

            the female supermodels of the world don’t want equal pay with the male models. that is for sure.

          • Lorehead

            Well, of course a slogan is going to be short and simple. The details are what they’re negotiating with USSF right now behind closed doors.

          • Frode

            It sounds like there is precious little negotiating going on at this time. We should expect to see a flurry before the EEOCs decision and again (if necessary) before the CBA’s MOU expiration.

        • MrTemecula

          In my humble opinion, even though it is not shared by a large group of Americans, is that players representing their country at the highest level should be treated and paid equally.

          I think USSF invested $15m in the men’s squad for 2014/15 for poor results. USSF probably should have invested in more grass roots programs and got the same results.

          • Guest

            I don’t think too many people would disagree with the “treated” equally part. But what does “paid equally” mean? The same annual revenue per player? Per game? Proportion of proceeds? Equal Pay for Equal Pay is fine ideal, but it breaks down under scrutiny.

          • I actually think the women should be earning more directly from USSF than the men. Here’s why.

            The men get paid just to show up. So too should the women. The different sets of bonuses earned per diem, per loss, per tie, and per win are totally unfair. Those, I think, should be equal.

            I also think the women should still earn a salary from USSF, while the men should not. Here’s why.

            The women work their entire life to make it to the national team. The men work their entire life to make it to a team in a top league. Their goal is to play professionally. The women’s goal is to play for their country. For the men, playing for their country is just a cherry on top of an already delicious sundae. For the women, though, it’s everything. I think the women spend more time in camp than the men do. The women get their best training from US Soccer. USSF has precedence over the club contract. We’ve seen this time and time again. The men’s club can refuse to release them if outside FIFA dates. This isn’t happening in NWSL.

            Until the NWSL can be the major source of income for a player, they should retain a larger salary and benefits from USSF since the National Team remains the pinnacle goal and accomplishment in women’s soccer. The only other “fair” option I see would be that no one earns a wage for playing for their country and just do it for the honor, but not the rewards. See how many people from the men’s and women’s side still take the callups when there is no financial incentive tied to it at all.

          • Lorehead

            The men actually get paid more for just showing up to the World Cup (although they get less in a non-World-Cup year or if they were a regular who got cut from the World Cup roster).

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

            A cynical Euro-peon might say that pretty much all of the soccer played in Uh’murca is women’s soccer.

          • Lorehead

            Hi, folk. Crazy uncle here is following me from another site and posting a bunch of stupid insults. He has senile dementia, and I suggest everybody just block him.

          • rkmid71

            Do you see how many people play in the NWSL with no financial incentive at all? I think you’d be surprised. You could create 2 or 3 US teams that would be among the best in the world and have a good chance to win WWC and the OG. Remember, the USWNT didn’t win the WWC for 16 years, had to have a special playoff to even qualify in 2011 as they couldn’t get through a weak Concacaf. What made those players so special in the 16 yrs of failure?

          • mockmook

            Same contract right? Either both are paid salaries, or neither, right? And, same benefits, right?

          • MrTemecula

            No. It doesn’t have to be the same contract. Roughly equal. No, they don’t need the same benefits. Roughly equal. I feel the EEOC treats each case with much more sophistication than we do here.

            In this case, they will probably take account of the function of the USSF. They will consider the financial difference between the women’s and men’s game. They will consider the amount spent on either teams, the amount of work expected of the players and their results, and their future prospects.

            I think in other cases, during the EEOC investigation, they will drop heavy hints about which direction they are going and urge both parties to find an equitable compromise.

          • Lorehead

            I don’t see how that would be viable, considering how the USWNT contracts are for both NWSL club and country.

      • Frode

        This is a huge factor in determining timing/outcome of CBA negotiations. However, by September, the financial impact of a new CBA will be blunted by the fact that there are no major women’s tournaments until 2019 (unless of course, CBA includes retroactive pay adjustments, which is a real possibility). As mentioned in another thread, it is possible that the very nature of the existing CBA will work against the USWNT, since it creates a financial structure that is not “substantially equal” to that of the USMNT; in effect, USWNT players are salaried employees of USSF, while USMNT players are contract employees. However, it may be that the EEOC deems certain disparities, e.g., per diem compensation, field/hotel conditions, to be in violation of the EPA.

        • MrTemecula

          The USSF acts like a for-profit company when it argues for paying women players less, but it is clearly a nonprofit institution for the promotion of women soccer, too. I don’t think they will be to get away with justifications that may make sense as a profit driven private company, but does not meet their responsibility for promoting women soccer.

          • rkmid71

            The more “profits” they have, the more they can re-invest and grow the game. They should act like a for profit company, but rather than pay dividends they should keep re-investing pursuant to their mission. The USWNT is not the only place where profits can get invested — for example, they are starting the new girls DA, started new YNTs (U18s and U19s), investing in the NWSL all of which promote WoSo.

        • guest

          the uswnt didn’t file the EEOC complaint over per diems. that’s just for public sympathy propaganda. the usmnt and uswnt per diems were equal previously. it’s just that the usmnt and uswnt cbas expire in different years. the usmnt has a newer cba that is why their per diem is higher until the uswmnt sign their new one. of course the uswnt players already know this, they are just misleading the public in the hope of gaining sympathy.

        • Lorehead

          US Soccer has already said that the lower per diems were a mistake and the women will get an equal one, and maybe even back pay.

      • mockmook

        I wish the MNT would file an EEOC complaint since they don’t get a salary.

        • Frode

          Or paternity leave.

  • Splitting hairs

    Alex isn’t really on board- see how she used her hair to hide the message. This action is doomed!

    • Nicole C.

      Broon’s foot isn’t in the last pic- it’s already out the door!

      • Ha, I just looked. Where is her foot?

        • this or that

          Her foot is cocked back like Solo’s so all you can see is legging. Or it’s been temporarily removed to insert bionic parts pre OG.

      • Rufan

        Assuming her lower leg and foot were airbushed out, why? Is she wearing something like a boot due to an injury that she does not want to be seen?

    • Steglitz49

      She earns as much as the other 4 together — if not more — admittedly from endorsements etc.

      • rkmid71

        Sometimes I wonder whether these players have any common sense. The endorsement potential of just being on the team far outweighs the other comp. I still don’t think anyone (other than USSF) knows specifically what they are asking for — other than equal pay. Somebody should ask them if they are willing to go to the men’s CBA structure. I think their answer is no. I’m tired of listening to these players on this topic at this point — just play and focus on the upcoming OG please.

        • Steglitz49

          Hard to do these days when the Volcano is all the rage.

        • ARED

          I think they were annoyed to the point of anger of “small” things like per diems, flight/hotel arrangements, and especially field quality. I think they were justified in these complaints, however, they decided to make a very big/bold move -and I’m not sure they are justified in this one. Nor have they clearly defined what they want beyond buzzwords and hashtags, as you say….

          I don’t mind them talking and speaking out if they choose, but I believe that opens them up for critique of what they are aiming for and how they are going about it….

  • Constant Weeder

    If the new CBA were to be structured, like the men’s, with no contracts, many current problems could be solved. It would be possible to compare the men’s and women’s pay directly, so that inequities would be easy to spot. The coach would be free to choose the best team, without economic pressure to pick players who are already being paid under contract. The NWSL subsidy, which is obviously still needed, could be redesigned in a much more straightforward and equitable way.
    Undoubtedly, new problems would be created as well, but I’m surprised not to have seen any discussion of this idea.

    • Guest

      That’s too sensible. The WNT wants to eat their cake and have it.

      • Bluenun

        And they should!!! They are the moneymakers and the most popular team now! Go get the money!!!

        • rkmid71

          Have you looked at the results of the Copa Centenario?

          • Movement

            Argentina 40
            USA 0

            right?

          • rkmid71

            True. But the attendance was a sellout > 70,000. In terms of money making and popularity, actual gate attendance and viewership matters. Can you imagine if the USMNT starts to be more competitive with the top teams? That tournament was a huge success for USSF and I’ve got to assume was a major moneymaker. Aren’t you assuming the USWNT wins OG and goes on VT and draws big fans? Even with that, I don’t see how that compares to Copa Centenario in terms of bringing in the cash.

          • I agree with your points, but if the US women hosted a major tournament on US Soil, it would probably make close to the same amount of money. Hard to compare revenue when US Soccer benefited from the likes of Argentina and Chile playing here in the US. It’s not simply USMNT vs USWNT in that situation.

            I also agree with Bluenun above, the WNT are much more, I don’t want to say “famous” but, more recognizable than the MNT players person for person.

          • rkmid71

            The average attendance of the WWC in the US in 1999 was 37,319. In 2003 it was 21,239. In 2015 in Canada, it was 25,664. The average attendance for Copa Centenario was about 46,000. Copa drew 100 million viewers on FOX and Univision.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

          • CED

            Wrong. The USWNT hosted 3 top 5 teams in the world and the combined attendance was 51K total over 3 games. They had to schedule them as double headers b/c if they scheduled them as single games the attendance would be horrible. When MNT has played top 10 teams at home, even in friendlies the crowds dwarf WNT vs top teams by may multiples. Btw, the anomalous high attendance WNT of 2015 was still 8k less than avg in attendance per game than MNT drew in it’s home games last year. The WNT previous record avg was 16K and they are not even at that avg in 2016. MNT games avg attendance for 2016 is about double WNT.

          • Lets not pretend that the “#SheBelieves Cup” and Copa America Centenario are at all the same. They weren’t marketed the same, and one was a first run string of 3 friendlies while the other is 1 of 2 major world tournaments for Men’s Soccer. Take out the Major Tournament #’s for the men and compare it directly to friendlies that both teams have played on US Soil in 2016, and the WNT have had a higher attendance. You just can’t compare major tournaments, their marketed and structured so differently.

          • CED

            Keep the typical victimhood excuses coming. Btw if you read the post I also said MNT friendlies vs top 10 teams dwarf WNT. I have posted the history before on MNT home games vs top 10 teams in friendlies, attendance it dwarfs WNT by multiples. Btw, do you really think a MNT friendly tourney with top 5 teams would need to make the games double headers became nobody would show up for the games not involving the US? That is the reality of WoSO.

          • Steglitz49

            Copa Centenario is at best equal to Euro-16 and probably of lower status.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why the viewing figures for Euro-16 will tell their own story, not least those from the high profile matches.

          • CED

            It’s not even close MNT>WNT. People for months have been using the line WNT is projected to make profit in FY and MNT lose 1 million. WNT projection was based on assuming OG win and VT…ie..based case sceanrio MNT projection was based on MNT playing 6 games in the FY and Copa America was listed elsewhere in revenue. USSF paid 15 million for hosting Copa America before MNT making semis

          • Bluenun

            Nobody would know a US male soccer player if they bumped into them. Crowds where mostly for opposing teams!

          • rkmid71

            Same with 90% of the US female soccer players. Maybe Solo because she’s been on Dancing with the Stars and Morgan with SI. In WoSo, Crowds in WoSo also come to see opposing teams — I know I enjoy coming to WNT games when they play Brazil to see Marta and her teammates, see the ginga, and party with all those crazy Brazilian fans.

          • Literally nobody goes to WoSo games and cheers for other teams. Look at qualifying games that didn’t include the US. They barely drew 2000 fans. I was at WWC qualifying game in Chicago that was T&T vs. Haiti or someone… probably 300 people in the stadium, which was right before the US game on the same night.

          • rkmid71

            Even the USWNT Concacaf OG qualifying games didn’t draw many fans. Ranged from 5,500 to 15,000. The highest atendance was US vs Mexico … I wonder if that was because more Mexican fans showed up because games were in Texas. Somehow it doesn’t sound like a positive for WoSo or bode well for pro WoSo becoming more economically viable anytime soon.

          • Lorehead

            That was CONCACAF dropping the ball on organizing the tournament.

          • CED

            The head of the victimhood brigade. Facts hurt, people have no interest in these games that’s why even the SBT had to be scheduled as double headers

          • CED

            You haven’t a clue. Unlike you I went to games

          • Bluenun

            Oh, I guess you know me! I was there and sorry I struck a nerve but 60% if not more, depending on the team where rooting for opposing team. Sorry sweetie:(

          • guest

            but they all paid in dollars which the ussf and usmnt got paid from. that’s the bottom line.

          • Steglitz49

            Greetings saviour of the German wine industry. Trust you are in good cheer in spite of Germany’s loss last night.

          • ARED

            But doesn’t that show that it is not actually “equal work” in “equal workplaces”?

            The USMNT have the good fortune of being in the side of the sport where there is an endless and passionate fanbase, eager to spend money which eventually reaches the players. A modest fish in a massive ocean.

            The USWNT has the bad fortune of being in the side of the sport where there is, so far, only a significant fanbase for two months out of every 48. A giant fish in a tiny pond.

            Sometimes these scenarios benefit the men (big tournaments, big exposure, more money everywhere), sometimes the women (more winning, which helps their strong image in the USA). But it’s difficult for me to see how it’s a fair or clean comparison of USMNT vs. USWNT, as if the reason they may get paid less is because a group of men sat around a table and decided to do so just out of spite.

          • guest

            lol. so now real attendance figures don’t count depending on the supporter. hilarious. i can assure you they do count in the most important way…ussf and usmnt profits.

          • Bluenun

            Maybe, but if it was team was Canada or Iceland a team with no soccer fanatics their attendance was 8,000 and 9,000 respectfully. The Copa won’t always be inUS

        • CED

          Typical clueless statement of WNT fangirl.

          • Bluenun

            Good comeback! Impressed by such intelligence! Bravo!

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe you can teach him about the art of wine-making in your spare time?

        • guest

          false. the uswnt have only made money one year in their thirty year history. they have been financially supported by the usmnt the whole time. and the uswnt is not going to out-revenue the usmnt in 2016 after the success of the copa america in the us.

          • Bluenun

            Why are so many people so threaten by women making the same as their male counterparts? Hmmmmm

          • Lorehead

            Well, in fairness, CED/Schoup/that guest are all the same person with sockpuppet accounts.

          • mockmook

            No one is “threatened”.

            Many question the logic or “fairness” of a bunch of politically motivated bureaucrats magically determining “equality”.

          • Bluenun

            Wouldn’t want to be a female related to someone who believes women as less then!

    • Frode

      This is really the fairest approach. Perhaps a compromise of increased profit sharing for WNT but much lower guaranteed salary would be healthy. This would allow for a larger WNT player pool. The superstars won’t be affected much, the less visible current WNT players will take a hit in the wallet, but a bunch of very talented women on the outside will get a shot. And for Pete’s sake, make per diems, hotel, travel benefits equal! That’s an easy fix. Grass or artificial turf for men and women. If the men won’t play on artificial turf, then take some of their FIFA revenue to provide real grass for the women.

    • guest

      the uswnt gang of five have been asked multiple times by reporters if they would accept non-salary structure like the usmnt and they refuse to answer the question directly. nor have they volunteered to do that either. it is apparent the uswnt want to keep their salary and benefits and also get the same bonus structure as the usmnt. not exactly equality.

      • Lorehead

        You seem to be interpreting “equal” to mean identical, rather than equivalent. And why would they discuss that with reporters, instead of in negotiations?

  • As someone who supports this, I kind of wish the team would just let it go until the end of the year. With everything else that is going on in this country at the moment (racial/police issues, LGBT issues, etc.) it’s going to be hard for them to continue to get “the court of public opinion” to be on their side in this. We sadly have bigger things to worry about.

    • Steglitz49

      Like the Supreme Court.

      • guest

        Don’t you have other things to worry about, eurotard?

        • Steglitz49

          No.

          Please regster yourself so we can follow your comments. Are you a member of the KKK by any chance?

  • So, O’Rielly going to Rio, Jill?

    • Nicole C.

      Depth is all the more reason to leave her at home.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe they feel they need another married woman now that ARod and Syd are out of it?

        • Why do you make posts like this?

          • Steglitz49

            It impresses some and annoys the rest. Furthermore, I contend that Carthage must be destroyed.

          • Lorehead

            It impresses none.

          • unintended consequences?

            but it does make an impression!

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Hounds tooth.

            Thank you.

          • Lorehead

            That was not a compliment, Steglitz.

          • Steglitz49

            I took it as one.

        • anon

          stop

        • David K Anderson

          Oh, FFS…just when I was starting to consider your posts useful again. You realize this crap is little different from the neckbeards speculating on Heath/Press hookups, right?

          • Steglitz49

            You disappoint me, DK Anderson. I had expected better from you.

            If WoSo is seen as a coven of lesbians, it has no future. If WoSo is seen as a road to dropping your kit for personal gain, it has no future.

            The future of any sport is in the mainstay of the great unwashed, not the privilidged few.

          • David K Anderson

            Yeah, I’ll lose a lot of sleep over THAT.

            /rolleyes

            I live in Portland…which is not a medieval-minded cesspit of homophobia, so no one gives a crap about a player’s sexual orientation here. YMMV…

            People likely to have a problem with players being lesbians aren’t going to be WoSo fans in the first place. They’re much more likely to be in the 4chan /sp/ “gurlz football…lulz” camp, and I couldn’t care less what cro-mags like that think.

          • Steglitz49

            There are not that many WoSo fans in the first place, are there?

            First define your fan base and segment it. Then grow it at the margins, starting with the easier segments. Step by step, piece by piece.

            Please go on living in Portland. It is an outlier by WoSo standards.

            People generally do not care about the orientation of female athletes as long as they are honest about it. Not coming out does not bother them but when they fly under a flag of convenience, they lose respect.

        • Ashley C

          Are you always so misogynistic IRL or is it just keyboard courage?

  • guest

    the courts have spoken. the uswnt players agreed to the orginal cba. any uswnt player that protests during the last uswnt friendlies or during uswnt media should be thrown off the rio olympic roster.

    • guest

      and any uswnt players that protest during the olympics should be banned for life from the uswnt. nobody is forcing them to go. if they are not happy then don’t play.

  • anon

    As if they were going to strike and fade into irrelevancy…. no one knows who they are if they don’t come to the big show. And there are only two of them every 4 years.

  • Davestwin7

    Fair pay for nwsl players should be a priority

  • AlbPerez

    I love the USWNT. I think they’re great and I love to watch them play. I even agree with the notion of equal pay for equal play. The problem is: the play isn’t equal. The women’s soccer team doesn’t play the teams that men’s team play. They don’t play the same level of talent, skill or ability. The women dominate their opponents but the opponents the men play are bigger, faster and stronger. Women’s soccer is as different from men’s soccer as hockey is from horseshoes.