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Sports world reacts to USWNT’s landmark equal pay deal

A fan calls for equal pay at the 2019 Women’s World Cup championship parade. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The U.S. women’s national team achieved equal pay with the men’s team under new labor deals reached between both national teams and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The agreement makes the United States the first country to close the pay gap between its men’s and women’s soccer teams, according to the USSF. After the landmark achievement was announced Wednesday, cheers rung out across the sports world.

“The accomplishments in this CBA are a testament to the incredible efforts of the WNT players on and off the field,” USWNT Players Association president Becky Sauerbrunn said in a statement posted to the organization’s Twitter account.

Sauerbrunn also posted a thread on her own Twitter account, thanking “the women who led and continue to lead the fight for equal pay across sports and in everyday day life.”

She also gave particular thanks to her USWNT teammates.

“If there was ever a group of women who know they can do hard things, it’s this one,” Sauerbrunn wrote. “We try to set a new standard for ourselves every time we step on the field[;] well, we just set a new standard off the field, too.”

USWNT Players Association vice president Crystal Dunn marked the accomplishment on Twitter. “We have achieved equal pay for equal work!” she wrote.

Alex Morgan, a member of the USWNT’s bargaining committee, expressed a similar sentiment.

Midge Purce, another member of the bargaining committee, applauded everyone who had worked on the new collective bargaining agreement, but she tempered her enthusiasm.

“One thing my dad always said is, ‘You don’t get rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do,’ and paying men and women equally is what you’re supposed to do, so I’m not giving out any gold stars,” Purce told USA Today.

Several NWSL clubs celebrated the milestone for the women’s national team, including the Washington Spirit and Gotham FC.

NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman called the news “historic progress not just for soccer but for all of sport.”

Voices from outside of the soccer world chimed in as well, among them Premier Hockey Federation commissioner Reagan Carey. “Great example of what happens when right people are at the table to champion equity & pave a path forward,” she wrote on Twitter.

The WNBPA also expressed its support, writing: “Did you feel that?!! That was another GROUNDBREAKING CBA!”

Even the President of the United States gave his congratulations. “This is a big deal, @USWNT,” President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter.