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USWNT vow to fight on after equal pay lawsuit setback

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10: Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe at The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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USWNT stars have been responding to the shock decision from a judge who dismissed their unequal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF).

A judge favored the U.S. Soccer Federation in a summary judgment, saying that the USWNT’s claim that they were being paid less than the USMNT was insufficient to warrant a trial. The judge also ruled against the USWNT lawsuit when it came to their claim about playing on artificial turf rather than grass but is yet to rule on their complaints regarding travel and player care not being on an equal level to the USMNT.

The decision is a huge shock, as the USWNT players who filed the lawsuit were asking for $66 million in damages from USSF.

USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson said the women will immediately appeal the decision and speaking to ABC’s Good Morning America, USWNT stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan both vowed to continue the fight.

“Shocked, to be honest, I was very shocked with the ruling and the explanation given,” Rapinoe said. “Basically it is like if I earn one dollar every time I play and a man earns three dollars, just because I win 10 games and he only wins three games, I earn 10 dollars and he only earns nine dollars, I’m not sure that is me making more money while having to essential win everything we could have possibly won over these past few years. For me it missed the point and it was very disappointing.”

Morgan added: “We are fighting for all of it. We are just shocked. This decision was out of left field for us and for both sides it was unexpected. We will definitely be appealing this and if anybody knows anything about the heart of this team, we are fighters and we will continue to fight together for this.”

Rapinoe admitted that the USWNT have earned more than the USMNT over a certain period of time, but they’ve played in more games and they were never offered the same CBA deal as the USMNT by USSF.

“If we were under the men’s contract we would be making three times more. You can look at the total compensation but in that time period we’ve won two World Cups and just about every game we’ve played. The rate of pay is just so different. It is so frustrating. So many women go through this,” Rapinoe said.

U.S. Soccer were slammed by Joe Biden, the presumptive democratic candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. He sent out a tweet on Saturday showing his support for the USWNT in their battle against the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay with the USMNT.

“To the USWNT: don’t give up this fight. This is not over yet. To U.S. Soccer: equal pay, now. Or else when I’m president, you can go elsewhere for World Cup funding,” Biden said.

Morgan added that although this was a setback, the USWNT remain strong and determined.

“This is definitely a hurdle in the road but nothing that is going to stop or deter us from what we’ve always been true to. That is true equality within the sport. We are still feeling optimistic and we will get through this,” Morgan said.

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