USWNT receives nightmare ruling from judge regarding equal pay lawsuit

Fans of USWNT (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Fans of USWNT (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Just when the USWNT seemed to be gaining momentum in their multi-year quest for equal pay, Judge Gary Klausner gave them news from hell.

Back in March, USWNT fans, and indeed much of the soccer world, cringed and rebelled upon hearing the insulting remarks made by the U.S. Soccer Federation in their latest court filing. They argued the men’s game required both more skill and more responsibility.

People came out of the woodwork to support the USWNT and reprimand the federation, so much so that the president at the time, Carlos Cordeiro, was forced to step down.

Though the remarks were insulting, the USWNT still held out hope that victory was achievable. In fact, they rallied even harder. But May 1 would bring the nightmare news the USWNT didn’t dare think possible.

U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner’s ruling stated,

"For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs’ Motion and GRANTS in part Defendant’s Motion. Plaintiff’s Title VII claim for discriminatory working conditions survives only insofar as it is based on (1) travel conditions (specifically, charter flights and hotel accommodations), and (2)  personnel and support services (specifically, medical and training support)."

Simply put, he denied their claims and declared their fight for equal pay over, allowing only their pursuit of better travel conditions and training staff to remain on the table.

Players took to social media to ensure their supporters that the fight has not left them and that they intend to appeal.

Despite the player’s continued positive outlook and determination, it’s hard not to see this decision as a crippling blow. As a former professional women’s soccer player, a former teammate of two USWNT players, and a fan of the USWNT, the decision is a tough pill to swallow and one I read with a considerable amount of disgust.

The USWNT is the face of soccer in the United States. In my lifetime I have yet to be inspired by the USMNT the way I have by the women’s team. I’ve supported them full-heartedly of course, rallying behind them, even breaking a couch or two jumping in extreme excitement over a World Cup goal once upon a time. But the grit, sheer determination, camaraderie and success of the USWNT is unmatched.

Next. U.S. Soccer Federation's recent court filing is offensive. dark

They’re the kind of people you would follow into battle. The kind of players you trust to carry U.S. soccer on their back. Their statistics are mind-blowing. Their hardware cabinets full. And their pleas rejected, so again I’m left asking why?