Embroiled in a lawsuit over equal pay, the United States Soccer reportedly defended itself and claimed that the World Cup champions male counterparts have 'more responsibility' and their job 'requires a higher level of skill'. According to an international media outlet, a lawyer representing the employers of the US women's soccer team has argued that female footballers should be paid less because they are 'less skilled' than men. Furthermore, the organisation has also argued that it had not violated the Equal Pay Act (EPA) by paying the women's team less than the men's team.
The US Soccer reportedly wrote in the court filing that the job of Men's National Team Player (MNT) player carries more responsibility within US Soccer than the job of Women's National Team Player (WNT) player, from EPA standpoint. The organisation also pointed to biological differences and 'indisputable science' to argue that women should be paid less because the men's team 'requires a higher level of skill' than the women's team. As per reports, it was also argued that the male football can often attract more aggressive and hostile crowds than the women's game, thus placing great stress and pressure upon the men.
The women's team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination suit against the US Soccer Federation. The trial is not set to begin until May, but both the sides revealed parts of pre-trial depositions. While speaking to an international media outlet, Molly Levinson, spokesperson for USWNT, called the argument by the organisation 'ridiculous' and said that it belongs in the 'palaeolithic era'.
Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd were reportedly also questioned as part of the filing. Lloyd was even asked if she thinks that the team could be competitive against the senior men's national team, to which she replied, 'I'm not sure. Shall we fight it out to see who wins and then we get paid more?'.
Earlier this week, US Soccer had also offered an equal pay structure with the men's national team, however, the offer was rejected. According to reports, USWNT lawyers countered that the 'equal pay' offer was based on a contract that the men's team had negotiated nine-years-ago, and it is now itself in the midst of renegotiating.
USSF President Carlos Cordeiro said, “So far, they have repeatedly declined our invitation to meet on the premise that our proposal does not include U.S. Soccer agreeing to make up the difference in future prize money awarded by FIFA for the Men’s and Women’s World Cups.”