Tampa-based U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is again calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to end the pay inequity in women’s soccer.
The Democrat’s comments came Wednesday, the day after the U.S. Women’s National team defeated England to secure its place in this weekend’s FIFA Women’s World Cup championship.
In March, 28 members of the women’s soccer team filed a class-action federal gender discrimination lawsuit seeking equal pay to that of their male counterparts. The suit alleges the women’s team has been subjected to ongoing “institutionalized gender discrimination,” including unequal pay, despite having the same job responsibilities as players on the men’s national team.
“I urge you and U.S. Soccer to not only act to rectify the pay inequity for the USWNT, but to urge FIFA to do more to raise the status of women in international soccer,” Castor wrote in a letter written on Wednesday to U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro.
“It is reported that FIFA’s cash reserves have soared to a record $2.74 billion,” Castor continued. “That’s more than enough to take meaningful action to invest in women’s competition and boost pay equity for female players.”
Castor also noted in her letter that the facts are “overwhelmingly clear” that the woman’s team has generated more revenue for U.S. Soccer than the men over the past three years, noting the relatively large television ratings during the current World Cup.
The Tampa Democrat serves as a co-chair on the Congressional Soccer Caucus and has championed equal rights for female athletes throughout her 12-year tenure in Congress. Her efforts include filing a resolution in 2015, stating that female athletes should be paid the same as their male counterparts.
In its response, U.S. Soccer didn’t deny that the men’s and women’s players are not paid equally. But said the inequities are a result of “different pay structures for performing different work,” The New York Times reports.