US female footballers seek $66m
NEW YORK (AP):
Players on the United States women’s national team are seeking more than US$66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation.
The damages were included in slew of papers filed Thursday night in US District Court in Los Angeles ahead of a trial scheduled to start May 5.
Among the documents filed were the separate collective bargaining agreements of the US men’s and women’s teams, which had not previously been made public.
Players on the women’s national team sued the federation last March alleging institutionalised gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation between the men’s and women’s teams.
Each side in the class-action lawsuit asked for a summary judgment in their favour. The estimate of damages, including interest, was provided by Finnie Bevin Cook, an economist from Deiter Consulting Group, which was retained by the suing players.
The collective bargaining agreements showed a disparity in bonuses but also highlighted the different pay structures between the two teams.
“Women’s national team players are paid differently because they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations,” US Soccer said in a statement. Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, disputed the federation’s assertions.
“In the most recent CBA negotiation, USSF repeatedly said that equal pay was not an option regardless of pay structure,” Levinson said in a statement.