U.S. Soccer is standing firm in its stance that the women’s national team is not underpaid. The organization hired two Washington lobbying firms to fight back against that notion, according to Politico.
In a statement shared with both Politico and Yahoo Sports, U.S. Soccer explained its decision.
“We have received a lot of requests from policymakers seeking information about compensation for our women athletes,” the statement read, in part. “We took the proper steps by hiring lobbyists to make sure that those leaders have accurate information and factual numbers that will inform them about the unmatched support and investment the U.S. Soccer Federation has provided as a leader in women’s football across the world.”
Spokespersons for both the USWNT and USMNT players associations expressed disappointment over U.S. Soccer’s decision.
A spokesperson for the women’s team told Politico the players were “stunned and disappointed” that U.S. Soccer was using sponsor money and revenue to make this argument.
Members of the USWNT have pushed for equal pay in recent years. In March, they took things to the next level, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer. The team’s dominant run to another World Cup victory in July has amplified the issue.
It’s reached a point where two Democratic congresswomen have introduced a bill blocking federal funding for the 2026 World Cup, which will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada, until the women receive equal pay.
U.S. Soccer attempted to get ahead of possible legislation by releasing a factsheet at the end of July that claimed the women’s team actually made more than the men over the past decade.
The lobbying firms, FBB Federal Relations and Van Ness Feldman, will make that same argument, according to Politico. The lobbyists will also argue “guaranteed salary, maternity leave, a nanny subsidy and health, retirement and injury protection benefits” are things the women receive that the men do not.
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