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USWNT players call U.S. Soccer's identical deals proposal a 'PR stunt'

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USA players including Megan Rapinoe react and watch as Canada receives their gold medals after the women’s soccer gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
USA TODAY Sports

The United States Women’s National Team Players Association called out the U.S. Soccer Federation's offer for identical contracts for men’s and women’s players on Wednesday as a “PR stunt.”

The USSF announced its proposal on Tuesday with the hopes of getting USMNT and USWNT players under the same collective bargaining agreement. 

The USSF later countered the Playes Association's statement, saying that its proposal was “real, authentic and in good faith.”

Disputes between the USWNT and USSF are not new. The USWNT sued the federation in 2019 for gender discrimination in pay and playing conditions. The lawsuit was later dismissed and the USWNT has since appealed.

USWNT star forward Alex Morgan said she is cautiously optimistic about negotiations with the USSF.

“We still need to chat about the statement given by U.S. Soccer, but any commitment to equal pay publicly is good,” Morgan said Wednesday. “However, we need to look line by line at what they're actually providing, because if you have equal, but it's not even what we got before, or to the value that we are, then we still consider that to be not good enough.”

 

She continued to say that the USWNT does not want to enter 2022 without a deal in place.

“We don't want to start the new year without a new CBA in effect, so that's the No. 1 priority of our PA, of our legal team,” she said. “Looking at the [USSF] statements, it's difficult to say, we want to feel encouraged and we want to be optimistic, but we have seen a lot of statements before.”

The USWNT’s agreement expires at the end of 2021, while the USMNT has been under the rules of a deal that expired in 2018.

The 24 teams that participated in the 2019 Women’s World Cup shared a prize pool of $30 million. By comparison, the 32 men’s teams that participated in the 2018 World Cup split a prize pool of $400 million, with the title-winning France team bringing home $38 million (h/t Goal.com). Fans chanted “equal pay” as the USWNT won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.