The USWNT Players Association has made a $16,000 donation to the NWSL Players Association to help that nascent organization get off the ground. A constitution and bylaws were approved earlier this year leading to the formation of the first organized effort by NWSL players to improve working conditions and standards. Officers and club representatives were announced last week.
“We continue to seek outcomes that offer not only legal remedies to the continued discrimination in pay and working conditions between men and women players, but also that acknowledge the systemic sexism that permeates FIFA, CONCACAF, and USSF,” said Megan Rapinoe, veteran of the USWNT and the Seattle Reign. “And to that end, we’re proud to fight discrimination and push for equal pay and working conditions both in our sport and more broadly. We are also proud to support our friends and teammates of the NWSLPA to achieve shared goals and, in doing so, build a stronger future for women’s soccer in the United States and worldwide.”
Rapinoe’s contract to pay in NWSL is paid for by U.S. Soccer meaning she is not a member of the NWSLPA.
“The NWSL has become a very desirable place for players around the world and for aspiring young female athletes,” said McCall Zerboni, Vice President of the NWSLPA. “Together we’ve made the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream possible. We will we continue to grow the game and provide a successful path and experience to becoming a professional women’s soccer player here in America. The growth is a direct correlation to the quality of play and competition you see in the league which all will be able to witness in the coming unpredictable playoffs.”
The Associated Press reported that the money came from the sale of tee shirts last year when the USWNTPA was embroiled in a battle with U.S. Soccer. At the time, some USWNT players said the sale of tee shirts focused around the Equal Pay/Equal Play campaign would go toward helping NWSL players whose wages begin at about $15,000 a season (at the time, NWSL minimum salary was about half that.)
When the USWNTPA finalized its agreement with US Soccer they bargained for certain standards to be improved in NWSL.