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Frankel, Castor Introduce Bill to Fight for Equal Pay in U.S. National Sports

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Washington, July 17, 2019 | comments

Washington, DC – On the heels of the women’s national soccer team’s fourth FIFA World Cup title, Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Kathy Castor (FL-14) are introducing the Athletics Fair Pay Act, which would require equal pay and compensation for all Olympic and amateur athletes. This bill recognizes that female athletes deserve equal pay for doing the same work. It was introduced in the Senate by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA).

The women’s national soccer team has been ranked number one by FIFA for 10 of the last 11 years, winning four FIFA World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. Despite all their successes on the field, the U.S. Soccer Federation pays women as little as 38 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. In March, the women’s national soccer team filed a discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“All women athletes, including champions of the women’s soccer team, deserve equal pay now,” said Rep. Frankel, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus. “With this bill, we will stamp out inequity, so the only thing left to fight for are world titles and Olympic gold medals.”

“When women succeed, America succeeds,” said Rep. Castor, Co-Chair of the Congressional Soccer Caucus. “Workplace discrimination persists in all types of settings, including athletic playing fields, as the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has highlighted.  Despite winning the Women’s World Cup for a record fourth time, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has faced an outsized wage and treatment gap compared to their male counterparts. Inequitable treatment and pay inequities are a drag on families across America and our bill tackles a particularly glaring problem.”

Pay inequity isn’t unique to women’s soccer. In 2017, the U.S. women’s national ice hockey team reached a settlement with USA Hockey in a wage dispute only after the team threatened to boycott a major competition. To end the era of pay discrepancy in amateur sports, the Athletics Fair Pay Act would:

  • Amend the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act to require equitable pay for female athletes in amateur athletics.
  • Add new reporting requirements to require National Governing Bodies to provide an annual report to Congress on athlete pay broken down by race and gender.

 

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