Mediation between the United States national team and U.S. Soccer broke off Wednesday with no deal. The sides had agreed, during the World Cup, to meet with a mediator following the tournament. The impasse now appears headed to federal court where the players have sued their federation citing gender discrimination over wages.
Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the players, released this statement on Wednesday:
“We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope. Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior. It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed. We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial.”
In response, U.S. Soccer released the following statement.
“We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement. Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs’ counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion.
“We always know there is more we can do. We value our players and have continually shown that, by providing them with compensation and support that exceeds any other women’s team in the world. Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith.”
Several veteran players were reportedly part of the mediation session on Tuesday. Carli Lloyd confirmed she was among them but declined to comment saying that she was not sure what she was authorized to comment on.
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