Players of the United States women’s national team have struck a $24 million settlement with their employer, the United States Soccer Federation, amid claims that they were systematically underpaid for years in comparison to the men’s squad.
The settlement, which was announced on Tuesday, brings an end to a landmark dispute involving gender discrimination in sports and beyond.
When the women’s team filed their case before of the 2019 World Cup, they claimed that if they had been paid on the same conditions as the men, they would have earned significantly more money.
They went on to win the event, claiming their fourth global crown, while chanting of “Equal pay!” resonated throughout the stadium in France.
Rapinoe, one of the lawsuit’s leaders, called the settlement a “major success” for the players and female athletes worldwide, adding that she believes it will have far-reaching implications beyond soccer in the United States.
“This is going to be one of those incredible moments that we look back on and say the game changed forever, U.S. Soccer changed forever, and the landscape of soccer in this country and in the world changed forever because of this,” she said.
$22 million will be given to the 28 players who sued and a $2 million charitable fund for women’s and girls’ soccer, is a win for the athletes, but it falls short of the $67 million they sought in their lawsuit.
As part of the agreement, US Soccer pledged to pay men and women equally in the future, including at the World Cup, where FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, continues to provide vastly disparate bonuses to men’s and women’s players.