On July 23, as the the U.S. Women’s Soccer team was in Tokyo for the Olympic Games, they filed an opening brief in their ongoing equal pay lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.
This filing came after a judge’s May 2020 dismissal of the players’ claims against the federation. The judge, R. Gary Klausner of United States District Court for the Central District of California, sided with the federation’s argument that the women had earned more “on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis” than the men’s team.
The players, including Megan Rapinoe, who has been one of the main voices on the frontlines of the fight, said, through a spokesperson, that they would appeal the decision.
“We believe in our case and know our value,” Rapinoe said in a statement upon this 2021 filing, per The New York Times. “It’s time the U.S.S.F. does too.”
“Anyone who knows this team knows that we do not give up until we win,” forward Christen Press said in her own statement, per the Times.
While the women continue to play on the world stage—they play Canada at 4 a.m. EDT tomorrow—their case at home continues to develop. On Friday, July 30, the men’s team filed an amicus brief in which they claimed that the women’s team had been subject to discrimination from U.S. Soccer for decades, per The Washington Post. They reportedly stated that the women’s team should be paid more than them.
The men’s team called Judge Klausner’s 2020 ruling “flawed” and “oversimplified” and added that the women’s team’s pay should reflect their performance. “The women deserved better from the Federation—and a lot more money,” they stated and also added that the federation “has persistently treated the women as second class throughout the 35-year history of the Women’s National Team.”