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Federal Judge Dismisses U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Unequal Pay Lawsuit

This is so unfair.

The US Women's soccer team celebrates during their victory tour.

A federal judge has ruled that members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) did not have enough evidence that they were paid less than the men’s team, dealing a major victory to the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the USWNT’s claims of unequal pay, but allowed them to continue with their claims of discrimination based on travel conditions and medical and training support.

It is a deeply disappointing outcome for players and fans alike, who have watched the women’s team win back to back World Cup championships, yet continue to make less money than the men’s team which barely places at all. This outcome follows the deeply misogynistic claim by the USSF that the women’s team “do not perform equal work requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.” A male athlete’s job, they say, “requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength” than the job of a female athlete.

This led to the resignation of USSF president Carlos Cordiero, but the federation continued to deny the women’s claims. They even hired a team of expensive lobbyists to plead their case, money that could have been spent on paying the women equally.

Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the USWNT, released a statement on Twitter saying “We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay, … We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.” Levinson added that the team plans to appeal the ruling.

The women’s and men’s team operate under separate collective bargaining agreements, which offer much lower bonuses for the women’s team regarding friendlies, World Cup games and other tournaments. While the women’s team made an average of $220,747 per game, the men made an average of $212,639. But these numbers don’t take into account the number of wins the women’s team racks up (more wins mean higher bonuses).

Simply put, the women win more, and earn less than the men. Many of the team’s star players took to social media to express their frustration and disappointment.

Even Joe Biden offered his support to the team:

(via Buzzfeed News, image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.