BREAKING: A federal judge has denied a request from the United States women’s football team to immediately appeal his dismissal of their unequal pay claim.
Back in May, Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed allegations that the national team, who have won the last two FIFA Women’s World Cup, are paid less than their male counterparts. Lawyers for the USA women’s team had asked him to enter a final judgement on his decision to dismiss the pay claim, as he has scheduled a trial for September 15 on the players’ remaining claim of discriminatory work conditions.
“The granting of an immediate appeal will not eliminate the possibility of two trials or the possibility of successive appeals involving interlocking facts,” he said.
“The court has declined the parties’ request to stay trial pending the resolution of any appeal.
“And should a jury render a verdict unfavourable to plaintiffs on their remaining claims, there is no reason to think plaintiffs will not appeal that decision,” he concluded.
Undoubtedly, the judge decision is poor and discriminatory to the USA women’s national team, as well as for all the women’s football teams who are fighting for a more equal game between them and their male counterparts.
The US players were seeking $66 million (£52.8 million/€59.5 million) in damages against US Soccer, but Klausner said the squad were paid more on both a cumulative and an average per game basis than the men’s team. Ok; it’s true that the US women’s team now generates more revenue than the men’s. According to financial reports from the U.S. Soccer Federation reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, USWNT games generated more total revenue than the USMNT games from 2016 through 2018: $50.8 million in revenue vs. $49.9 million for the men.
However, as things are right now, the women earn approximately a maximum of $99,000 for the season ($4,950 per game) while the men would earn $263,320 ($13,166 per game). The men get a $5,000 bonus per game played, while the women’s pay is guaranteed whether they play or not, but lower.
There’s also a giant pay disparity between the Women’s World Cup and the Men’s World Cup. According to a report, the U.S. Women’s National Team will earn about $250,000 each for winning the World Cup, while the U.S. Men’s National Team would earn about $1.1 million if they were to win their World Cup. Still, this judge doesn’t get this numbers.
Molly Levinson, the USA women’s national team spokeswoman, revealed Klausner’s rejection would not stop them appealing his dismissal of the unequal pay claim.
“One way or another, we intend to appeal the court’s decision which does not account for the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job,” she said, “Tonight’s ruling simply means that an appeal may take longer to file and is a reminder that we must not give up our efforts both on and off the field to fight injustice.
“Though we face significant challenges, we are strengthened by the reality that our effort is one part of the greater movement for equality happening in our country right now,” she concluded.
In the end, two things can be clear from all this; one, the discrimination for women’s football to continue to grow and become equal to the men’s game still latent in some people, who cannot accept this move forward. And secondly, as Molly Levinson said, US Women’s team is going to keep fighting for its rights to set up an example of equality on the world of football, both men’s and women’s.