Hope Solo Sues US Soccer Federation For Paying Her Less Than Men’s National Team Players
American soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. Solo claims that she has been discriminated against based on underpayment for her role on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.
She is upset that the Women’s National Team’s compensation pales in comparison to that of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. The Complaint is filed on the premise that Solo and her teammates have been discriminated against because of sex.
“This pay disparity exists despite the fact that, as the MNT and WNT’s employer, the Federation is bound by federal law to compensate Plaintiff and her WNT teammates at least equally to the rate at which it compensates MNT players given that the women and men perform the same job duties; have jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibilities; and perform their respective jobs under similar working conditions,” states the Complaint.
In fact, Solo says that the Women’s National Team has pre and post match duties that are the same or greater than those of the Men’s National Team. Further, the Women’s National Team’s success has led to more time in training camp, more games played, additional travel and extensive media sessions.
Solo points to the fact that the U.S. Soccer Federation paid her a base of $3,600 per game to play in Friendlies, while it paid the players on the Men’s National Team a minimum of $5,000 to play in similar games.
Based on a chart provided by Solo, a twenty-game winning top tier Women’s National Team player would earn 38% of the compensation earned by a similarly situated Men’s National Team player.
Maybe the most striking comparison in the dispute is made when looking at compensation related to the World Cup. In 2014, the Men’s National Team earned $9 million after losing in the Round of 16. The Women’s National Team took home $2 million when it won the whole tournament.
“The disparity in pay trickles down to nearly every aspect of the WNT player/Federation employment relationship,” says Solo.
She is seeking damages in an amount yet to be determined. The lawsuit was filed on August 24, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.