The United States women’s national soccer team has the support of former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Biden tweeted his support for the women’s team to keep moving forward in the wake of a judge’s ruling against the USWNT in its equal pay lawsuit. Biden said that he wanted U.S. Soccer to pay the women’s team equally to the men’s team. And if it didn’t, he would withdraw support for the 2026 World Cup should he be elected president.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 2, 2020
President Donald Trump, who Biden is running against in November, hasn’t taken an explicit stand on the equal pay issue. When he was asked about the team’s suit in July following its 2019 World Cup win, Trump said he’d like to see equal pay but also noted that “you have to look at who’s taking in what.”
Friday afternoon, a federal judge said the USWNT’s claims that it didn’t make as much as the men’s team weren’t strong enough to go to trial. From Yahoo Sports’ Caitlin Murray:
In particular, the judge pointed to a “history of negotiations” where the USWNT had sought more guaranteed compensation than the riskier pay-to-play structure in the USMNT’s contract. The USWNT “cannot now retroactively deem their CBA worse than the USMNT CBA by reference to what they would have made” under the men’s contract, the judge wrote.
The USWNT said it would appeal the ruling, and star player Megan Rapinoe vowed that the team would keep fighting. Rapinoe recently had an Instagram Live with Biden and his wife Jill and joked that she would like to be his running mate.
The team was seeking up to $67 million in backpay through its claims of unequal pay. Most recently, a member of the women’s team who was on the roster for five World Cup qualifiers and the entirety of the World Cup would have made just under $200,000; $10,500 for each qualifier, $37,500 for being on the World Cup roster and $110,000 for the team winning the title.
While Judge R. Gary Klausner said that the equal pay claims weren’t sufficient for a trial, he did say two of the other claims could proceed to a trial. Those revolve around charter travel for the men’s team and fewer support services for the women’s team.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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