Sports world reacts to USWNT equal pay settlement

(Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Following the announcement that the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. women’s national team players had reached a $24 million settlement stemming from a 2019 lawsuit over equal pay, athletes and high-profile figures inside and outside of sports reacted to the news.

The settlement, which is contingent on U.S. Soccer and the USWNT Players Association ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement, includes $22 million in direct compensation for the players and a promise of equal pay between the men’s and women’s senior national teams at all levels of competition.

USWNT star Alex Morgan called the resolution a “monumental step forward” during an interview on “Good Morning America” with Megan Rapinoe and Cindy Parlow Cone on Tuesday morning. Others shared their thoughts on social media.

Tobin Heath, one of the U.S. players involved in the lawsuit, said that “it was never just about winning.”

“It was about fighting for and believing in a better future,” she wrote. “A big thank you to everyone that has supported this fight.”

“It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get us where we are today,” wrote USWNT forward Christen Press.

Meghan Klingenberg called the process a “long arduous journey.”

“Today’s news makes me really emotional and happy,” she wrote on Twitter. “Well done to the USWNT players for changing the game for everyone who comes next.”

Former USWNT player and current broadcaster Julie Foudy said she was “thrilled to see progress” with the lawsuit, while Crystal Dunn Soubrier called it a “long road” but “worth the fight.”

“I am so proud of this team and our relentless pursuit for equal pay,” she wrote.

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that the fight for equal pay “shouldn’t require a lawsuit. But when it does, the people who fight for fairness make the world better for all of us.”

President Joe Biden called it a “long overdue victory.”

“I’m proud of the USWNT for never giving up — on and off the field,” he wrote. “Now, let’s close the pay gap in every industry.”

The WNBA Players Association, which negotiated a landmark collective bargaining agreement of its own in 2020, also addressed the USWNT’s accomplishment Tuesday.

South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley, who has been open about the USWNT inspiring her to fight for more money in her own historic contract extension, thanked the players for their “perseverance, patience and fight for EQUAL PAY!”

In a later tweet, she wrote that “systemic change is on the rise.”

NJ/NY Gotham FC and USWNT defender Ali Krieger called it a “great day.”

“To those of us fighting tirelessly within our workplace for equity, equality and respect, thank u!” she wrote. “I’m proud to be a part of this powerful group!”