United States Women Soccer Team Legal Win : Fighting Against Gender Discrimination


Women’s inequality in professional sports has been at the forefront of the media coverage for some time. This inequitable treatment includes pay disparities, resource limitations, and limited recognition. Women athletes are regularly judged and mistreated in the sports world when compared with their glorified counterparts in men’s sports. 

According to Adelphi University in New York, the gender pay gap in sports is the following:


Sport Men Women
Basketball (NBA & WNBA) $8,321,937 $75,181
Golf (PGA & LPGA) $1,235,495 $48,993
Soccer (MLS & NWSL) $410,730 $35,000
Softball/Baseball (MLB & NPF) $4,031,549 $6,000
Tennis (ATP & WTA) $335,946 $283,635


The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team took this ongoing issue into their hands to catalyze change for all women athletes. After realizing that they have been earning less than half when compared to the men’s team, they fought to equalize pay between the national soccer teams. This fact also proves true with competitions outside of the U.S., specifically the World Cup.  

The civil case began in 2016 and did not end until May of 2022. During this time, former and current players, like Alex Morgan, went against their bosses when they began their battle of fighting for equal rights. In a New York Times article, Parlow Cone, U.S. Soccer President stated, “It was not an easy process to get to this point. The most important thing here is that we are moving forward, and we are moving forward together.” The struggle to reach their goal was a lengthy process, but very worth it with a $24 million settlement. 

This case has inspired others to pursue equality across men and women athletes. Over the years, hockey  and WNBA players have reached out in support of the American women soccer players who have unified and fought to the end until they reached their goal. Not only was this an inspiration to other professional athletes, but also to younger women whose dreams are to become professional athletes. Alex Morgan explained, “It had become like a domino effect, where organizations started to admit their wrong doings and players started getting treated the way they deserved.”

This settlement was a solution to a very damaging conflict and was considered a victory to all! This case was the first step in the right direction to ending gender discrimination and, moving forward, more women athletes are hoping to get the treatment they deserve. Alex Morgan ended her phone interview with Andrew Das, “What we set out to do, was to have acknowledgment of discrimination from U.S. Soccer, and we received that through back pay in the settlement. We set out to have fair and equal treatment in working conditions, and we got that through the working conditions settlement. And we set out to have equal pay moving forward for us and the men’s team through U.S. Soccer, and we achieved that.”