• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

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There are 5 comments on Huge Win for Equal Pay, as Soccer Federation Settles Discrimination Suit with US Players

  1. They should be payed based on the revenue they generate. If it is less than mens soccer (It is) then they should be payed proportionately less. I wouldn’t consider a couple hundred grand to each player a huge payday either.

    1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/19/us-womens-soccer-games-now-generate-more-revenue-than-mens.html

      Adding complexity- USSoccer hasn’t promoted the women’s games or merchandise in the same way they have invested in the mens.
      Example: For years- fans had to make our own “women’s” gear by sewing stars over the crest. It is just recently that we see merchandise designed for men to wear- specific to the women’s team- which is huge. USWNT games are stuck on second (or third) level streaming deals unless we are in a major tournament. This past week- their Cup final (which was a must win) got pushed the ESPN News while an unimportant college basketball game played out. Bizarre.

      Regardless- I’m a fan of both teams, and have been for decades. The pay issue is messy, due to the low pay for women in their professional clubs + USSF subsidizing NWSL club salary of NT players- but that is changing …. albeit, slowly.

  2. This article does not seem to address the essential question of whether there was actual pay discrimination. It also does not address this question: Why did the first court ruling find that there was NO discrimination? I know it’s sometimes hard to read legal texts but I think it’s a journalists duty to go through it and understand the facts before rooting for one side or the other NO matter how trendy and fashionable the cause. Understanding what the court found is essential to this controversy even if you disagree with it. Here’s the link to the actual ruling:


    If you read the facts found in the verdict you see that (straight from the court doc), “from 2015 to 2019, payments to the WNT totaled approximately $24 million and averaged $220,747 per game, whereas payments to the MNT totaled approximately $18 million and averaged $212,639 per game.” (For clarity WNT stands for Women’s National Team and MNT stands for Men’s National Team.)

    In other words the facts of the case seem to be that the women’s team was actually paid MORE both per game and in total than the men’s team for the contract that the women’s team was alleging discriminatory! Even if you buy the WNT’s claim it is important that the article explain this apparent inconsistency against the facts that the court found. No?

    In another key passage the court ruling states also that the women’s team was offered THE SAME DEAL as the men’s team and rejected it! Again the article does not explain this either. Why? Again being interested primarily in activism rather than facts and evidence often tends to bury the truth.

    Here it is straight from the doc:

    Is this sufficient to demonstrate that Defendant compensates MNT players at a rate less than the rate it pays wages to WNT players? The Court thinks not. This approach—merely comparing what each team would have made under the other team’s CBA—is untenable in this case because it ignores the reality that the MNT and WNT bargained for different agreements which reflect different preferences, and that the WNT explicitly rejected the terms they now seek to retroactively impose on themselves. The first time the WNT requested bonuses equivalent to those received by the MNT was in January 2016. USSF rejected that proposal, however, because the WNT was not asking for a pay-to-play arrangement similar to the MNT CBA; instead, it was asking for all of the upsides of the MNT CBA (namely, higher bonuses) without any of the drawbacks (e.g., no base salary). (See Nichols Transcript Excerpts, Ex. 31.) In May 2016, USSF offered the WNT a pay-to-play proposal similar to the MNT CBA but the WNT rejected it, preferring an agreement that involved some element of guaranteed compensation.

    You may agree or disagree with the ruling but it would have been good and informative for this article to deal with the facts and evidence found by the court rather than advocating for a cause and outcome based on flimsy or false information.

  3. The USMT was paid under a “pay-to-play” agreement, meaning that better results were paid higher – bad results/losses would result in a lower pay. The USWT was offered this same deal, but instead opted for lower-risk, lower-reward salaries. When they complained, they were offered to switch to pay-to-play, but rejected this, and asked for back pay (against the original agreed salary).

    The issue wasn’t an unfair deal, but their failure to take up the better offer.

  4. Until the Union contact is negotiated and agreed upon- USSFs ”commitment” to equalize pay is just another promise. They haven’t been entirely trustworthy my so far. The settlement is a good gesture but… don’t be fooled- we don’t yet have “equal pay” for the women. Just a settlement (which is 1/3 of what they sued for paid out over the course of four years) for back monies owed.

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