A U.S. District Judge scored a devastating blow against the women's soccer team on Friday by dismissing part of their pay discrimination claim. After rejecting an offer to receive the same pay-to-play structure as their male counterparts, the U.S. women's national soccer team filed a lawsuit claiming pay discrimination. The team sought $66 million under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to CBS Sports.
"The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players," U.S. District Judge R Gary Klausner wrote in his decision. "Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men's national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT's pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure."
Additionally, the judge cited evidence presented by the U.S. Soccer Federation showing the women's soccer team "was paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the [men's team]."
Following the decision, perennial victim Megan Rapinoe vowed to "never stop fighting for EQUALITY." Rapinoe conducted a 44-minute interview with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday, failing to ask a single question about the allegation against the former Delaware senator who stands accused of sexually assaulting Senate staffer Tara Reade in 1993.
Other claims made by the team, that they were the victims of discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation because of the money spent on the team's commercial airfare, hotel accommodations, and other expenses, were allowed to move forward. But the heart of the team's lawsuit has been dismissed. The Associated Press reports the trial is scheduled for June 16.